* ANY WORK (EITHER IMAGE, CONCEPT OR TEXT) CONTAINED IN THIS WEBSITE IS COPYRIGHTED BY THE AUTHORS AND CANNOT BE REPRODUCED IN THE ORIGINAL OR A MODIFIED FORM, IN PARTS OR AS A WHOLE, WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF ALESSANDRA SWINY.
Head of the Department of Architecture
Architecture Research Center (ARC)
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/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.
Name: Alessandra Swiny
Personal: July 25th 1976. Nationality: U.K citizen and U.S.A citizen
2000-04_Harvard Graduate School of Design, MArch I
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. U.S.A
1997-99_Barnard College/Columbia University, Bachelor of Arts NY.NY, U.S.A. Architecture, Distinction, Honors: cum laude & Department Honors
1994-96 Fall, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A
09.2007-09.2012 _Principal architect with M.Hadjisoteriou ‘subsupra studio’
09.2005-09.2007 _Principal architect ‘a8’ architecture office
03.2006-01.2007 _Architect @ AA+U Office (Art.Architecture+Urbanism), Nicosia, Cyprus
06.2006-11.2007_Architect hired to re-design and re-vive the struggling regions of Platres, Katydata, Vouni, Cyprus (as member of AA+U team)
09.2005-07.2006 _Architect @ J&A Philippou Architects, Nicosia, Cyprus
09.2004-06.2005_Architect @ Seroff&Papadopoulos Architects, Nicosia, Cyprus
02.2012-present _Head of Architecture Department, University of Nicosia
08.2011-01.2012_Visiting Professor at Barnard and Columbia Colleges Architecture Program
11.2009-present _Co-Head then Head of Architecture Department, University of Nicosia
09.2007-11.2009_Associate then Acting Head Architecture Department, University of Nicosia
09.2006-present _Lecturer to Assistant Professor, University of Nicosia
01.2003-09.2005_Co-founder, designer, builder of ‘GAIA’ a non-for-profit, Environmental Cultural Center, Nicosia
01.2001-12.2001_Co-President, creator of MEDINA (Design from Mediterranean- rim-countries), GSD, Harvard
As collaborator and external architect with Yiorgos Hadjichristou’s architectural design project ‘the Architecture Research Center, University of Nicosia, Cyprus’. Project selected through competition held by the Cyprus Architects association for the most significant European ‘Mies Van Der Rohe Awards’ 2012-2013.
05.2012_ European Cultural Capital: Submission of the proposal ‘Vague terrains’ & ‘Revisiting & Rediscovering your Town(s): New Readings of your Urban Environment’ for the Bid of the Competition together with Yiorgos Hadjichristou. The proposal ‘Vague Terrains’ was selected by the Organization for the Bid and a contract is signed to become one of the biggest events of the European Cultural Capital. The possibility of realizing the above projects is still in the process, now in the city of Paphos.
09.2009_Awarded an Erasmus Intensive Program for 2009-2011 for the project ‘Demochange Cities’ (40,000 euro) with a group of 5 architects, city planners and sociologists from Milan Polytechnic and Degli Studi di Trieste, Italy; HafenCity University, Germany; Babes-Bolyai University, Romania; Wein Technical University, Austria
09.2008_Invited by the city of Clermont-Ferrand, France to participate in a one year design workshop (5 presentations, 2 to City Council and an exhibition in France, spanning a period of 9 months) developing the project ‘sterra’ for the Europan 9 winning project with M. Hadjisoteriou
09.2008_Selected by curator Sir Peter Cook as one of the teams to represent Cyprus at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale 2008 with the project ‘easylove’ with A. Kleanthous, M. Menikou, Y. Hadjichristou, M.Hadjisoteriou, G. Souglides
01.2008 _Co-Runner up, Europan 9: European competition for young urban and architectural design professionals. Topic: Opportunities for public space/ Site: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Collaboration in Competition Phase ‘subterra:supraterra’ with M.Hadjisoteriou & A.Dimitrakopoulos
09.2006_Presentation of ‘The Game: Urban Pieces in Warfare’ at the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale 2006, with P.Philippou & A.Antoniou
06.2005_Awarded grant by UNOPS for World Environment Day project: ‘Cloth not Plastic’
05.2001_Nominated for the ‘Prize for Promise’ a USA based award of $100,000, given to a “young woman of exceptional ability, ambition, boldness, dedication, and vision.”
05.1999_Awarded the ‘Josephine Paddock Fellowship’ for distinction in a field of the Arts. A $10,000 award given to a young woman who shows promise in, and dedication to, the arts.
05.1999_Awarded from Barnard College/Columbia University the ‘Marcia Mead Design Award’ for excellence in Architectural Design. Also Distinction Honors: cum laude & Department Honors for Architecture
Research, Publications, Conferences, Competitions, Lectures, Presentations, Articles
03.2016_ Runner Up with the entry ‘Human Topographies_ Emerging Identities’ (curators: A. Swiny, Y. Hadjichristou, V. Antoniou, collaborators: O. Apserou, C. Karamalli and Y. Papiotis)for the Curating Team of the Cyprus Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016
03.2016_Selected to represent Cyprus Pavilion with the ‘Human Topographies_ Emerging Identities’ . for the XXI Milano Triennale 2016. 21st Century. Design After Design. Identities’ ( curators: A. Swiny, Y. Hadjichristou, V. Antoniou, collaborators: O. Apserou, C. Karamalli and Y. Papiotis)
06.2015_Changing Cities. Book of Abstracts of the International Conference on Changing Cities II Spatial, Design, Landscape & Socio-economic Dimensions. Porto Heli, Peloponnese, Greece. Editor: Prof. Aspa Gospodini, University of Thessaly/ Graffima Publications. ISBN 978-690-6865-85-5.
In/ Out of Crisis, emergent and adaptive cities (A. Swiny, M. Georgiou, and Y. Hadjichristou) p.339 under the theme: Resilient cities: ’Planning and Designing resilient cities under economic and environmental uncertainty’.
06.2015_Changing Cities. Proceedings of the International Conference on Changing Cities II Spatial, Design, Landscape & Socio-economic Dimensions. 22-26 June 2015 Porto Heli, Peloponnese, Greece. Editor: Prof. Aspa Gospodini, University of Thessaly/ Graffima Publications. ISBN 978‐960‐6865‐88‐6. In/ Out of Crisis, emergent and adaptive cities (A. Swiny, M. Georgiou, and Y. Hadjichristou) p.1172-1181 under the theme: Resilient cities: ‘Planning and Designing resilient cities under economic and environmental uncertainty’.
11.2015_Submission and acceptance of the paper Crisis in/out, Emergent and Adaptive (Y.Hadjichristou, A.Swiny and M.Georgiou) to the Kyoto ICSAUD Conference on Architecture and Urban Sustainability
02.2015_Submission and acceptance of the paper, Crisis in and out_emergent and adaptive urban organisms (Y. Hadjichristou, A. Swiny and M. Georgiou) to the Toronto Urban Ecologies Conference 2015(17-19.2016) – a conference examining the future design of our cities
01.2015_Submission of the abstract, Crisis In and Out, Emergent and Adaptive Urban Organisms (Y. Hadjichristou, A. Swiny and M. Georgiou) to the conference City as Organism in Rome-ISUF 2015 XXII international Conference: City as organism. New visions for urban life
06.2015_Content, layout, design and publication of the Department of Architecture Handbook
02.2015_Developing Partnership with University of Sharjah, Dubai. Arranged lecture by.G.Katodrytis
02.2015_AA Visiting School Innsbruck, ‘Winter Robots’. Took students to attend workshop and presented lecture
11.2014_Acceptance of paper for publication, as well as conference presentation; ‘In/Out Crisis_emergent & adaptive urbanities’. Eurau 2014, Istanbul
08.2014_Organized “Wood Workshop” in association with the Wood Lovers Society and Master Woodcarver Chris Pye
4-8.2014_AA Visiting School + CAA Summer Workshop 2014 – FLOAT. Organized with M.Georgiou as the representative for ARC with the CAA (AA by P.Ferreos). The Architectural Association Cyprus Visiting School with the annual Summer Workshop sponsored by the Cyprus Architects Association, hosted/organized by the University of Nicosia – Department of Architecture [ARC]. The target for 2014 was to assemble a diverse and dynamic group of students and young practitioners, both from Cyprus and abroad for a 1 week design and testing; 1 month analysis & development; 2 week fabrication period aiming to construct floating components addressing issues of refugee relief in relation to the U.N. operations corps in Cyprus. FARRCo – Floating Assembled Refugee Relief Components
04.2014_Submission and acceptance of ‘In/Out Crisis_emergent & adaptive’ in “Boundaries II” publication. Rome, Italy
02.2014_Participation in the Competition for the Curating Team of the Cyprus Pavilion of the 14th Venice Architectural Biennale. As a Curator with Yiorgos Hadjischristou. Collaborators/Team: M.Georgiou, P.Pavlides, A.Postekkis. Created and designed the Project & Installation ‘Reverberating Courtyards: Carving History’.
02.2014_Book ‘The UAW about urban awareness BOOK’ DAMDI editions ISBN 9788968010217. Pages 176-179 ‘pick a pocket’ ( Maria Hadjisoteriou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou in collaboration with the students Ellie Balabanidou and Evgenios Vasiliou)
10.2013-present_ ‘In-Out Crisis’ Architectural Unit. Course written and taught with Y.Hadjichristou & M. Georgiou. We proposed and were selected to run an Advanced Architectural Unit for the 4th & 5th Years of study in the BA Arch and the Professional Degree, Department of Architecture, University of Nicosia. ‘In-Out Crisis’, is based on my research concerning Emergency Architecture and facing issues of crisis that are currently encountered throughout our world today. This cutting edge and pertinent course explores various aspects of crisis and are explored through the lens of architectural design. Workshops and other explorative teaching methods are used.
10.2013_Printed Abstract ‘Vague Terrains’ (with Yiorgos Hadjichristou) in the books of Abstracts. Session 7a: Performing Space and Place. 4th Global Conference. Exploring Critical Issues. 9-12.09.2013 Mansfield College. Oxford. United Kingdom .
09.2013_Αρχιτέκτονες+ Μηχανικοί. Τεύχος 96, Σεπτέμβριος 2013, p. 36. We are common ground. Participation in the competition for the curating team of the Cyprus Pavilion of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. p.38
09.2013_Submission of the abstract ‘perform D[ance]’ with Yiorgos Hadjichristou to the 2013 Conference ‘Place and Space’ Critical Issues, Mansfield College Oxford, UK
09.2012_EURAU’12 ; Track 3: Public Space and Contemporary City_ European Symposium on Research in Architecture and Urban Design (Porto, Portugal, Sep. 2012); Paper: “Clermont-Ferrand City Center: A contemporary approach “sterra: manipulating strata”– a Europan 9 selected project”. Alessandra Swiny & Maria Hadjisoteriou
08.2012_AEC 2012, 7th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on Innovation in Architecture, Engineering & Construction; (Sao Paolo; Brazil; Aug.12); Paper: “AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO A NEW PUBLIC SPACE ;“STERRA: Manipulating Strata”– Europan 9 selected project”. Authors: Alessandra Swiny & Maria Hadjisoteriou
04.2012_Participation in the Competition for the Curating Team of the Cyprus Pavilion of the 13th Venice Architectural Biennale. As a collaborator with Veronika Antoniou. Curators: Yiorgos Hadjischristou & Maria Hadjisoteriou
04.2012_1-ICAUD, First International Conference on Architecture and Urban Design. Epoka University, Faculty of Architecture and Engineering Department of Architecture, Proceedings, First International Conference on Architecture and Urban Design 1-ICAUD, Conference presentation Yiorgos Hadjichristou, Alessandra Swiny Perform (D)ance space/ Educational Center/ Experiential Space
Conference proceedings Book: ISBN: 9789928-135-01-8, p.161-171; Publisher: Epoka University Press
2012_ Web publication of the ‘Urban- A- Where?’ Project can be found at www.urban-a-where.com An upcoming book publication with the editorial DAMDI is been prepared, that will include our participation.
01.2012_Domes, International Review of Architecture, Cypriot Architecture Panorama 2012, Domes 01/12, ISBN 978-960-89633-3-7, Editor: Georgios Panetsos,
- 42-43 Sterra Manipulated Strata: Architectural competition Europan 9, Clermont – Ferrand, France; workshop results; (collaboration with M.Hadjisoteriou)
- 146-147 Canteliver house, private residence, Maroni, Larnaka (collaboration with M.Hadjisoteriou)
- 150-151 Urban Renewal of Agia Phyla Historic Centre, Lemesos (collaboration with Socratis Stratis & M.Hadjisoteriou & Riccardo Urbano)
04.2010_Publication ENHSA-EAAE Architectural DesignTeachers’ and Construction Teachers’Networks: Architectural Design and Construction Education. ‘Experimentation towards Integration’.
06.2009_Presentation of paper ‘Perform[d]ance’ with Y.Hadjichristou at the ENHSA-EAAEArchitectural DesignTeachers’ and Construction Teachers’Networks: Architectural Design and Construction Education. ‘Experimentation towards Integration’ at the University of Genoa, Italy
05.2009_Presentation of paper ‘Manipulating Strata: Europan 9 Selected Project’ with M.Hadjisoteriou, in Track 5 ‘The use of public space and neighborhood design, sense of place and social interaction’ at the City Futures Conference, Madrid, Spain
05.2008_Book: E9 Europan 9 results. Published in French, English, Spanish and German by the Europan organization relating the thematics of the competition and the discussions that took place in relation to the winning solutions. Edited by Europan Europe ISBN 2-914296-14-2 p.203
05.2007_Author of the article ‘Beirut’ in UNDO (a critical art journal published in English/Greek) p.55-62. Nr.1/2007
Refereed or invited exhibition
10.2012_Invited Participation in the ‘Urban- A- Where?’ Project, an International Workshop and Exhibition about Chrono-urbanism. Our Project was under the category Remote Participation_
- The “U-A-W?” Alternative Navigation Maps. Project title: ‘Pick a Pocket’. Place: Casteliotissa,
- Paphos Gate, Nicosia. Curator: Socrates Stratis. Assistant Curators: Didier Rebois,
- Maria Panayides. Participants: Yiorgos Hadjichristou, Alessandra Swiny, Maria Hadjisoteriou. Collaborators: architecture students Elli Balabanidou and Evgenios Vasiliou (www.urban-a-where.com) (17-30.10.2012).
Participation in the Exhibition organized by Domes in collaboration with Cyprus Architects Association – International Review of Architecture / Cypriot Architecture Panorama 2012+ Panorama of Greek Architecture 2011, (participation with 3 projects of my personal work) 1-5.03.2012 Famagusta Gate , Nicosia, 7-11.03 Municipal Cutural center Panos Solomonides , Limassol, Tirana/Albania, Belgrade/ Servia, Bukharest/Romania, Sofia/Bulgaria, Xanthi,Thessaloniki,Larissa, Volos, Patra, Athens, Hania, Irakleio/ Greece.
03.10.2012_Exhibition of the workshops of the Cyprus Pavilion ‘Revisit’ of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 and the Erasmus Programs 2010,2011,2012 . Co-organization of the event together with Y.Hadjichristou.
06.2015_End of Year Exhibition of the ARC. , coordinated and designed the event. Exhibition of the outcomes of the courses of both Interior Design and Architecture Programmes and presentations by our graduates. Coordinate Awards for the graduated students.
03.10.2012_Lecture & Presentations of the Erasmus Intensive Program results for 2010,2011,2012. Co-organization of the event together with Y.Hadjichristou.
05.2009_Exhibition of project ‘sterra’ for the Europan 9 winning project with M. Hadjisoteriou, Town Hall of Clermont-Ferrand, France
09.2008-11.2008_‘easylove’, Cyprus Pavilion, 11th Venice Architecture Biennale 2008. Other team members: A. Kleanthous, M. Menikou, Y. Hadjichristou, M.Hadjisoteriou, G. Souglides. Curator Sir Peter Cook
11.2007-04.2008_Design and construction of ‘Interactive-Installation’ for YK:EMX at the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre , Nicosia, Cyprus
12.2003-01.2004_‘Weaving, Materials and Habitation’. Participant of the T. Mori workshop of Harvard Design School at Sheldon Art Gallery, Washington, D.C. USA
Conference & Exhibition Organization, Curator, Editor
03.2009-07.2009_Concept development, editor, coordinator, designer; Architecture Department Student Handbook 2008-2010
01.2009-05.2009_Coordinator of the End-of-year Exhibition ‘Pulp‘, for the Architecture Department, University of Nicosia at ‘Skali’
01.2007-05.2007_Coordinator and curator of the End-of-year Exhibition ‘RE-USE ‘, Design Department, University of Nicosia
06.2007_Coordinator and curator of Interactive Art & Design Lecture Series: Extention 4: A.I.R extention#8 by K.Vermeir and R.Heiremants (in collaboration with C.Panayioutou and P.Swinnen. K.Kosta. K.Pitsilidou. University of Nicosia, Cyprus
01.2006-12.2007_Τeam member, author, contributor – UNDO (a critical art journal published in English/Greek)
09.2004_Curator and Coordinator of: ‘MultiCultural CoExistance’ a 22 artist exhibit at ‘GAIA’
05.2009-present_Project ‘the development of the historical center of Agia Phyla’ in Limassol, with M.Hadjisoteriou in collaboration with AA+U architects
05.2008-05.2009_Europan 9 workshop in Clermont-Ferrand, France
2008-present_Design of a steel frame house in Maroni, Larnaka district – An environmental based project; in collaboration with M. Hadjisoteriou
2008-present_Design of a timber frame house in Erimi, Limassol district – An environmental based project; in collaboration with M. Hadjisoteriou
2006-present_Master plan work for Platres, Katydata, Vouni in collaboration with AA+U and A.Karamontani (filing of existing situation – mapping – public presentation of analysis + proposal – policy/proposals/guide lines)
03.2006_Third Prize. Park of Europe, Nicosia Cyprus. Team: AA+U (with S.Stratis, R.Urbano, M. Loizidou); phase 2 Team member
04.2005_Entry ‘e-square’ for the International Competition for the re-design of Elefteria Square (with M.Seroff, K.Seroff) , Nicosia, Cyprus. Final winner -Zaha Hadid
-Author of 5 Year Professional Diploma in Architecture (DipArch) and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (B.A.Arch), University of Nicosia, Cyprus.
-Coordinator of the Academic Advisory Committee for the Architecture Department
-Member of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Faculty Evaluation and Ranking Committee