Mending Wall


Personal Info


Nationality: Turkish

Institution / Company: KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture

Instagram: ekinbaskentli

Facebook: Ekin Başkentli


-FINALIST of Non Architecture Award 2022 Competition | Category: Urban & Landscape


Mending Wall (Documenting as an act of maintenance: Maintaining the border wall of Divided Nicosia)

Following the war in 1974, the island of Cyprus was divided, politically between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and physically with numerous walls into two distinct impenetrable environments. In the center of this walled border is the former capital, Nicosia, which was halved by the border. This border, in the city; consists of two parallel rows of walls with a buffer zone in between. The buffer zone is constantly monitored and maintained by the UN peacekeepers. No one has taken the time to document the division, because documenting the wall is illegal.

This project documents the current existence of the urban edge and the border wall from its north side. As a Turkish citizen, I was not able to enter the South part of the island due to the political condition. Therefore, the study is made in North Nicosia hoping that another maintenant will work on the South part, to create unified documentation of Nicosia. It was thought that a city having such an edge, and residents living with the edge were precarious. However, the ongoing situation in Cyprus is still divided, and the residents are living in this unique condition. This brought about questions concerning life on the edge: “If the destruction of the wall is not possible, how does one maintain this painful element and attempt to improve life along the edge simultaneously?” Therefore, a new attitude emerged toward the border; to maintain the wall. 

The research starts with the question: Could architecture be understood as the practice of guardianship of the negative environment? It sets out to find the value of the border wall as an architectural element and to transform the space by documenting. It ends with a drawing (Hope) of the first research finding on-site which shows the only topic both parties approve of. While the two sides cannot agree on a map of Nicosia above-ground, the sewerage map of Nicosia is one that both parties approve of. Above ground, Nicosia is split by war and ethnic struggle but underneath the city is unified.


Project Type:

Master Thesis


Jury Comments

– Karoline Liedtke-Sørensen

to use maintanance to convert a former political and precarious element of a city into something to live around and to transform the space by documenting it is extremly valuable , the methods of documentation like photographes paired with drawings and models are beautiful excecuted and arranged and give a vivid impression of the wall in the everyday live of the citizens

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