The practice was founded by architects Jacques and Andreas Philippou in 1960, which chronologically coincided with the independence of Cyprus from British colonial rule and the foundation of the Republic. In the ensuing years dramatic urban change was underway all over the island. During this intensely transitional period, the office was primarily involved in residential and educational developments at various scales. This was facilitated by establishing differential teams of qualified professionals within its workforce and through external collaborations, being a local leader in pursuing a rigorous cross-fertilisation from interrelated fields of knowledge.
With the expansion of institutional frameworks and bodies as well as the associated growth of the Cypriot economy from the late 60s onward, the practice extended its activities into cultural and health institutions, tourist and hospitality developments, business and commercial buildings, leisure and sports facilities, as well as military and airport installations. In particular, the studio has acquired extensive experience in complex projects, predominantly in the tourist industry, both in Cyprus and overseas, and has gradually developed into a multidisciplinary environment providing all professional services in the fields of Architecture, Urban Design, Civil and Structural Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Interior Design and Landscaping. Additional services include Project Management and Feasibility Studies, Professional Reports and Consultancy on issues pertaining to the building industry.
With a total staff of about 65 qualified architects, urbanists, interior designers, civil and structural engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers, and technicians, as well as supportive administrative stuff, the practice is organised to provide coordinated services in all aforementioned disciplines – independently or collectively – for projects at different scales and with varying degrees of intricacy. Services are organised in accordance with the RIBA Plan of Work for all stages of design and implementation, with further input from specialist consultants – as and when required. Full use is made of information technology facilities in all sectors of the studio, which are persistently updated with the latest mainstream software packages and hardware equipment.
The obvious advantage of the practice’s organisational structure is the emergent set of synergies, triggered by the intimate and strategic collaboration of diverse specialists under one roof. This yields both more extensive project coordination as well as more intensive thinking integration. Since the late 70’s, the practice has developed its overseas interests and carried out large and complex projects in Greece, Libya, Kenya, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, providing services to major national and international clients including governmental apparatuses and institutions. This cultivated the capacity of the practice to professionally engage and collaborate with other offices or consultants with varied degrees of engagement on behalf of demanding and challenging clients.
Major projects include: from the 1960s and early 70’s the two Kykkos Schools, Gabrielides Building, Zena Gunther Commercial Centre, and the J+A Philippou Office – all in Nicosia, as well as a series of hotels in Famagusta – such as the Aspelia and the Golden Sands. The pinnacle of the work abroad is the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, in Oman during the mid 80’s, which includes both accommodation and conference facilities for heads of state and their delegations, as well as a 5 Star hotel operated by Intercontinental – a hotel repeatedly voted as one of the top ten in the world. From the last two decades some important projects are: in Nicosia, the New Ledra Hotel (now Hilton Park), the headquarters of Bank of Cyprus (in collaboration with other 2 local practices) and that of Arab Bank, the CYTA head office, the Cyprus College, as well as the recently completed Ministry of Finance, a project designed in association with JSB Partnership (UK). In Limassol the Apollonia and Londa Hotels as well as the Maximos Commercial Centre; in Paphos the Paphos Beach (now Almyra), Phaethon, and Amathus Hotels; the Commodore Hotel in Beirut; and in Athens, participation in the New Athens Airport and the Ledra Marriot.