In 2005 an architectural competition was announced to redesign the historical square. This was won by a group led by Zaha Hadid and Christos Passas.
From the beginning the ambition was set very high and the aim was to transform the old square into a new Cypriot Garden taking on classical ideas and layers of Landscaping, Urban Planning, Heritage Preservation and Sustainability within an Integrated Architectural Design.
The project is admittedly a progressive approach to the creation of public space, and in fact many of the criticisms may have been due to a misinterpretation of the design intent. The project has been described as a model Cypriot garden with the synthesis of archaeological, ecological and architectural elements in a single whole. The project has received many awards for the overall design approach and the positive impact it has on the urban center of Nicosia. In November 2022, the project and the co-creator of the project, Christos Passas, who undertook the completion of the work after the death of Zaha Hadid, shared the 1st place State Architecture Award in the Remarkable Architectural Project Category.
“Eleftheria Square constitutes a dramatic and historically significant 'architectural' intervention - an aspiration to reconnect the ancient city's massive fortified Venetian Walls and moat with the modern city and beyond - a bold vision of coherence and continuity which can become a catalyst to unify the last divided capital of Europe.”
The project opened to very positive public acclaim in December 2022
36,000sqm of urban Public Spaces interconnected over two levels with public infrastructure, Green Parks and Archaeological Momument
Zaha Hadid, Christos Passas, Patrik Schumacher