Head of the Department of Architecture
ARC (Architecture Research Center)
University of Nicosia
Associate Professor_Tenure Faculty
Tel: +357 22842600
Alessandra Swiny is an Architect of American and British origin. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College /Columbia University (2000) and a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University (2004) in the United States. She is currently the Head of the Department of Architecture, and an Associate Professor, at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, where she has been teaching since 2005 and is a tenured faculty member.
Alessandra was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Barnard/Columbia Colleges Architecture Program for Fall 2011.
She was the principal architect with M. Hadjisoteriou at ‘Sub_Supra Studio’ from 2008 until 2013.
In June 2008 her winning entry (with M.Hadjisoteriou & A.Dimitrakopoulos) for ‘Europan 9 Competition’ in Clermont-Ferrand, France went into its second phase of design development.
She has represented Cyprus in the Venice Architecture Biennale three times from 2008-2012. In 2014 she submitted the project, ‘Reverberating Courtyards: Carving Histories’ as curator with Y.Hadjichristou (team: A.Postekkis, P.Pavlidies, M.Georgiou) and was runner-up (2nd place). In 2016 she submitted the project ‘Human Topographies_Emerging Identities’ as curator with Y.Hadjichristou (team: V.Antoniou, C.Karamalli, O.Asperou) and was the runner-up (2nd place).
From 2009 Alessandra participated in an Erasmus Intensive Program (completed in 2012) for the project ‘Demochange Cities’ with professors and students from Milan, Trieste, Hamburg, Cluj, and Vienna.
Alessandra is very passionate about the development of an architects’ education. Her design focus shifts from small scale detailing to issues pertaining to the larger urban context and articulates the importance and complexities of issues faced at all scales.
In recent years her work concentrates on issues of emergency architecture, which she teaches in various specialized seminars, both in Cyprus and the United States. From 2013 to 2015 she was Unit Leader of ‘In/Out Crisis_emergent & adaptive’ @ http://www.in-out-crisis.com.com (with Y.Hadjichristou, M.Georgiou, N.Christou) for 4th and 5th year Architecture students at the University of Nicosia.
She believes that equilibrium must exist between; functionality and creativity, as well as research, practice, technology, culture and wit. In her work she strives to have a minimum negative impact on the ‘natural environment’ and maximum positive impact on the ‘human environment’, while creating projects that function as ‘intelligently’ as possible.