334 / Natalia Moiseenkova: Alternative Approach in Solving the Issue of Women's Safety

Natalia Moiseenkova from Nicosia, Cyprus; “My name is Natalia Moiseenkova. I was born in Moscow, Russia, but I’m currently living in Cyprus and just got my Professional Diploma in Architecture. Moving to another country was a big step for me, but it made me open minded and curious for everything new. Since I was a kid I was always travelling and it made me realise how big, interesting and diverse our world is and how many possibilities it has. I always had the desire to explore new challenges and new possibilities. I’m very passionate about learning and getting new knowledge. I’m responsible and always working for the result. A little self-critical, but this has always helped to achieve the desired goals. Living and working in a new country will enhance my knowledge and that is one of my primary goals.

I’m always looking forward to meet new people, exchange ideas, contribute to society through architecture or other possible ways. From the professional side I want to get new skills and be able to overcome professional challenges. Alongside traveling, studying architecture has really changed the way I see the world. I am excited for every new opportunity to see new things and to get advantage of them. My university already gave me so many incredible opportunities such as to learn, exchange knowledge, meet new people from different backgrounds, attend interesting lectures and workshops, travel and much more. The work I produced during these year helped me to expand my interests and set certain goals, which I want to achieve in the nearest future.”

University: University of Nicosia

Professor(s): Petros Lapithis, Eleonore Zippelius, Tonia Sophocleous, Angela Petrou

Instagram Username: @natalia_moiseenkova

Name of Project: Alternative approach in solving the issue of women's safety

Project Description: The issue of women’s safety has been a cause in Cyprus for a long time. 22% of women living in Cyprus have experienced physical/sexual abuse. After making several research I took standard procedures of a typical shelter for battered women and used it as a starting point. Based on that I came out with an alternative proposal of solving this issue. As my site I’ve chosen the area in the village of Anavargos in Pafos, Cyprus. It’s mainly a residential area with 4 schools and some commercial areas. Specifically my site is an abandoned grain storage, that has been built in 70’s. The area has been a subject of debates for many years.

To keep it? Or to demolish it? It became an industrial heritage. For some people it’s a significant landmark for others a big disturbance. Based on that I came up with my research question «How can regeneration of memorable value also promote protection and regeneration and self-esteem of abused women?» My design process was based on several principles such as - safety, privacy, independence. Throughout the year I was testing different program arrangement on the site. For instance - the density of program, spatial conditions, implementation of courtyards, circulation of residents and products.

Yet the final design is based on the idea of regeneration - keeping the existing - introducing new structures. What looks secure and unapproachable at the first look is in fact a whole living organism. The proposed shelter will operate in 2 phrases. The 1st phase is transitional, it allows women to stay up to 3 months and focuses on healing and privacy. Women will get first aid and all the necessary help as soon as they enter. Next step is distribution to the accommodation. There are 2 types of living units in the 1st phase, all located within the silos. According to weather a woman has children or not she can stay in bigger or smaller apartment. Also 1st phase includes healing therapy, psychology session legal support and in general socializing with other women. 2nd phase is long-term and allows women to stay up to 3 years.

The main focus is to make sure that a resident is settled down and ready to start a new life and gain independence, which is why there are various ways for getting an income. One of the main aspect of my proposal was to keep the memorable value of the site, therefore I introduced furniture storage and repair workshop as part of my program, which will allow women to get an income and the site to keep its previous value. Apart from furniture repair there will be other sources of income - such as retail space, where women will be able to sell repaired furniture as well as their own crafts such as clothing, paintings, homemade accessories e.t.c. Other sources of income are - shelter and hotel for dogs, which do not require previous working experience. Also there are cultivation plots, which can either be rented by other or can be used b women to grow their own food.

The other focus of the shelter is on education of women, there will be various classes offered, such as business, finance, computer, law, languages e.t.c. in order for women to gain necessary skills to be able to pursue future career. Also there will be nursery and after school, located on the site, so that there is no need for children to leave the shelter and mothers can always watch their kids. Privacy, safety and healing are still main focus in the 2nd phase. Women can stay in small private apartments, use the benefits of closed and enclosed green areas. Despite the fact that the site is an industrial heritage the atmosphere created attempts to bring peace and encourage women to grow and heal.