Visualising and Simulating Built Heritage in Nicosia

The Cyprus Institute, 2015
Area Culture Urban Development Medium Virtual Reality Type Research

Among the important highlights of ongoing research conducted at the Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Centre (STARC, Cyprus Institute) is the cross-disciplinary study of the layered built heritage of historic cities in Cyprus and the broader Eastern Mediterranean basin. Focusing primarily on the city of Nicosia, Virtual Environments Cluster and the research group on Cultural Landscapes and Built Heritage address an array of themes and phenomena drawing from region?s rich heritage while utilizing STARC?s cutting edge technological and analytical infrastructure. Research work in Nicosia is possible in close collaboration with the Cyprus Department of Antiquities and the collaborative activities with the Nicosia Master Plan in Nicosia.
Research in Nicosia is pursued with the direct engagement of the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications in the framework of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ? CyI collaboration. This opportunity has fostered the effective utilization of advanced visualization in the study of historic environments. In particular, the use of immersive virtual environments in cultural heritage and the systematic analysis of built heritage has been the focus of the ongoing study of the historic core of Nicosia which invests in the application of 3D documentation, visualization and virtual environments for the study of layered historic cities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The success of our work has produced notable results:
1) The preservation and post-excavation management of the archaeological site of the Paphos Gate, Nicosia, implemented by Cyprus Department of Antiquities and the Municipality of Nicosia, has been based on our proposal and design made possible in the context of our research work;
2) The introduction of broader collaborative approaches focusing on the study of ?Mediterranean Cities in Transition? - a research project pursued in collaboration with UIUC and grants and fellowships at the American Academy in Rome and the Getty Research Institute;
3) Collaboration with the Municipality of Nicosia for the creation of a 3D interactive platform of the Greek-Cypriot part of Nicosia for the promotion and presentation of newly developed areas of the city along with important planned urban regeneration projects (2015). Visualizing the entire city in 3D and enabling, through the use of advanced computational models, the integration of data overlays is potentially the key to unlocking how we tackle development and infrastructure planning decisions in the future; and,
4) Our work is already at the core of a series of academic grant and EU research proposal applications on the study of Historic Cities in the Mediterranean.



  • Artopoulos, Georgios The Cyprus Institute
  • Bakirtzis, Nikolas The Cyprus Institute

Project Partner

National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States); Cyprus Department of Antiquities; Municipality of Nicosia.