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Cyprus

Building permit expected soon for Troodos observatory

Architects' impression of the Troodos observatory

Construction of the observatory in Troodos is expected to start in the near future, with the building permit expected to be issued soon, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The site of the astronomical research centre on top of a 1,200 metre hill near Agridia, Chandria, was chosen because there is little light pollution, and humidity is usually at low levels.

Agridia is considered to be a convenient location, as it is a 45-minute drive from both Limassol and Nicosia and near the main road from Agros to Troodos.

Agros and Kyperounda also offer agrotourist accommodation ten minutes from the site.

The observatory is intended for children, amateur astronomers and tourists. It aims to attract visitors and thus contribute to economic growth.

There will be two telescopes, a solar one for use during the day and a lunar one to watch the stars and moon at night. The idea is that different groups of people will be able to make use of the space.

The project is expected to cost €1.6 million, half of which will be used to construct the building while the other half is earmarked for purchasing the equipment.

The building is going to be in the shape of a spaceship, inspired by science fiction movies, especially Star Wars.

Architectural plans have already attracted the interest of international media, and an article about the project has been published in Dezeen, the prestigious architectural magazine, in 2017.

The designer who won the planning permission are Elena and brother Nicodemus Tsolakis who run Kyriakos Tsolakis architects, a firm established by their father. The architectural practice was founded in 1973 by Kyriakos Tsolakis in Melbourne where It was engaged in 520 projects around the city. The current practice in Cyprus opened in 2008.

Several other partners are involved in the project, the forestry department, the Troodos development company, the Agridia community council and the University of Nicosia, which will look after technical issues and digital applications.

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