In end of 2021, Baştaşlar revealed that the upcoming Cove Beach project has got a new design by an international award-winning architect. Since the revealing of this project, the whole marketplace is talking about it as the next landmark in Esentepe area and a place that will stand out in North Cyprus. Some are even saying that it might become a well know destination in the whole of Mediterranean in just a few years’ time because of this incredible new beach design.
We contacted the worldwide architect responsible for this project, named Saffet Kaya Bekiroğlu, who in the matter of fact happens to be from our very own North Cyprus. We asked him about the new beach design, what his challenges were in the creation stage and what his vision is for this beach area belonging to Sun Valley Resort & Residency.
Mr Saffet Kaya Bekiroğlu, you have an impressive career as an architect, what made you start with this profession?
Thanks, well I always had a curious eye, and early on wanted to be a designer; graphic, product, sculptor, etc. I remember changing the layout of my bedroom quite often (by moving furniture around) to break the routine.
I got accepted to an Architecture School in Istanbul and being on right track, I slowly found my own interest and strength with in the vast discipline of architecture.
We know that you have not done many tourism architectural projects in North Cyprus, even though you are a Cypriot who grew up in this country. So, what was it that now made you accept to take on the Cove Beach project in your home country?
You are right, it is mainly campuses, education buildings that I realised in Cyprus, and now it’s time for tourism.
I like to design create unconventional projects to inspire people. As an architect I like to inject excitement and offer an alternative way of look at things, experiences.
Knowing both Ahmet’s, who both are my friends from childhood, are a great asset and made the whole process even more personal for me.
What is your main design approach for Cove Beach?
By introducing architectural landscape, a composition of hard /manmade and soft landscape together, adopting to the existing natural one, we creating habitable spaces, terraces, connecting street-villa level to seas. Allowing people from all ages, to be able to experience the unique authentic nature of this place.
What were your challenges in the initial design stage?
Beach front development on 17m shear drop came across very challenging and as a typology very out of ordinary. Our design approach initially was to come up with an idea that would keep the natural landscape while at the same time connect it with the already constructed buildings in Sun Valley Resort & Residency so that it becomes one entity. By introducing the adoptive architectural landscape to the already existing soft landscape, people can with this design now have access to these rough, steep cliffs which distinguish the island of North Cyprus.
How would you describe the architecture design?
An architectural proposal that is complementing the existing landscape so that it now allows people from all ages to be able to experience the unique authentic nature of this place. Departing from existing rectangular villas layout, we introduced soft-grid to adopt the natural landscape, creating habitable spaces, terraces and connecting the street-villa level to water’s level.
What did you enjoy most about designing Cove Beach?
I like the idea to be given the opportunity to become part of the team to contribute in creating/making a special destination for people to come and enjoy in years to come.
During design process one meets lots of different consultants with different expertise. While working together, one learns a lot, which is very enriching and gratifying.
What is your vision with the architecture of Cove Beach?
Our architecture amplifies and emphasizes, and where it integrates to the beautiful nature of this place. Therefore, we are designing interesting indoor, outdoor and spatial experiences. We would like to create an environment that works like a catalyst to brings people together all day and year long.
What is the end goal for this big and unique beach project?
We definitely want Cove Beach to become a unique destination for both locals and internationals. To accomplish this, we are trying to bring out the best of what Cyprus’ North shore offers.
FACTS ABOUT COVE BEACH
Cove Beach is a private beach area belonging to Sun Valley Resort & Residency which is currently under construction. Cove Beach will include several restaurants and bars, marina, lighthouse, paddle tennis court, water sports, botanical garden, and more. Cove Beach will grow in the next few years to a very attractive and exclusive area on the northern coastline.
FACTS ABOUT SAFFET KAYA BEKIROĞLU
Saffet Kaya Bekiroğlu is an internationally practicing architect, previously working at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) as the project designer and architect of international designs on a variety of scales including several competition-winning projects such as the acclaimed London Aquatics Centre for 2012 Olympic Games and the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, in which Kaya Bekiroğlu is acknowledged as co-author. Kaya Bekiroğlu is also the designer for many of the product and furniture designs, such as for the criticallyacclaimed Aqua Table and he has now redesigned the whole Cove Beach to the most incredible place.