The watermill of Vartalis
Education - Students / Finalist
Remaining as a sculpture in nature, the “watermill of Vartalis” acts as a surprising element that one discovers among trees and low-height hills. The monument is a typical example of the rural pre-industrial architecture of Cyprus, providing information about the specific typology and morphology of watermills of the island.
Through the years, and the inevitable wear, the watermill becomes part of the surrounding environment, as its adapted and harmonized with it. Thus, the primary objective of the specific project is the protection of the now ruined and neglected monument. The main strategy, is to maintain its current “ruined” state, while implementing the necessary rescue works, ensuring its protection, passing it on to future generations.
Re-introducing the watermill, as an active space that houses a new program, while not disturbing its picturesque identity. Highlighting its peculiarities, contemporary materiality is introduced in a simple way; thus, not detracting from the character of the vernacular one.
Complementing, and co-existing, the new additions complete, and do not compete with the monument. Significantly important, the new additions were designed with reference to existing or preceding elements that characterized the monument, as to offer a sole experience in the landscape, aiming to strengthen, and enhance the spirit of the place.
In summary, the proposal emphasizes on the re-use of the narrow room of the watermill, through the addition of a new planted (green) roof canopy, which protects the ruined structure, and creates a new semi-open informative (exhibition) space, where the visitors will be informed regarding the watermill’s preceding state, its history, etc. The visitors through the proposal, are able to approach the various parts of the watermill safely (i.e., water channel “petravlako”, water tower “ydatopirgos”, etc.), and above all to ex perience the atmosphere of the place, through a new perspective.
Author: Despina Athanasiou