The island’s space buffs can bask in the knowledge that Troodos’ 115-hectare, UNESCO-listed Geopark is to be the site of a sci-fi-inspired research centre.
The “star observatory” will be tasked with gathering and relaying data on cosmic phenomena to US space agency NASA.
Planning permission for the project was granted to the Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects studio, which drew inspiration from sci-fi films for the design of the Troodos Observatory.
Studio founders Nicodemos K Tsolakis and Elena K Tsolakis aimed at integrating the futuristic design with the unspoiled nature of the Geopark, which boasts mountains covered in forests, as well as fields, orchards and vineyards.
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“Elena and I drew inspiration from sci-fi when drawing up plans for this observatory,” explained self-professed Star Wars fan Nicodemos Tsolakis.
And it appears the flourishes from director George Lucas’ universe were well-received.
“Of course the client didn’t know this when they hired us. They were pretty surprised with where we took it, but they love the idea.”
“Cyprus is ideal to set up an observatory that will be interconnected with the Observatory of Crete and then with other European observatories as part of an observatory network,” the architectural studio’s founders added.
The Troodos Observatory will be the island’s first purpose-built monitoring centre, and will partner with the US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration to address the latter’s inability to track space phenomena between India and the Mediterranean.
The structure will feature a slim, wedge-shaped form, with a domed roof at one end, and a cantilevered roof terrace at the other.
Two telescopes will be housed within – one for daytime use, the other for night-time viewing. Visitors will also be able to bring along their own telescopes to stargaze from the roof terrace.
The Troodos Observatory will be built to withstand the island’s temperature highs and lows, from 40 degrees centigrade in summer to below freezing, with snow in winter.