Learning and Innovation Center, Campus ULB/VUB, Brussels, 2017
The proposal aims at maximizing the relationship to the widely open southern landscape and at the same time minimizing the limits that are already compromised by the F building of the VUB. The longitudinal shape will therefore make the campus much more radiant, thus creating attractiveness at the heart of the park, instead of having an isolated public infrastructure.
The Learning Center’s goal is to overcome the classical library model in order to create Knowledge Meeting Spaces, or a hybrid model between different aspects: interiority and friendliness, quietness and noisiness, formality and flexibility. These ambivalences lead us to adopt an intelligible strategy in order to simplify the program’s configurations.
A great horizontal volume will host, in a radical way, all the flexible features of the program, thus allowing the modification of its setting along the knowledge transmission’s evolution process. Five interconnected floors will also be in direct contact with outdoor spaces (streets, gateway and park).
Specific entities conceived as programmatic specificities with their own circulatory pattern will accompany the main volume. As wanted by the contest, the gateway will come up with the whole sporadic disposal of autonomous forms, thus creating a new material landscape at the heart of the present park.
Inside the building, the program splits up into six different fragments which reveal the knowledge themes. Each of these fragments/themes operates in a close relationship with its own programmatic entity and circulatory pattern and, by being autonomous one from another, it allows a more efficient articulation between them and prevents from use conflicts.
Enhanced by the longitudinal mobility, the park and the gateway give access to the main levels which host the most public features. Above, each fragment gets vertically autonomous, thus making relationships mainly visual. From the two main accesses, this strategy does not only allow to diversify and hierarchize mobility and the program’s different themes, but also to comply with the Learning Center’s program imposed ambivalences.
Lastly, the aim of intermingling both systems (flexible space and specific entities) is to create crossing and meeting points where genuine living spaces settle.
The Blueprint competition, based on Renzo Piano’s masterplan for the city of Genoa, seeks to create a new mixed area for the recovering of its seafront. The proposition focuses on four strategies:
– Giving a clear and effective reading of this complex area;
– Offering to the new urban structure, through the notion of sequence, a diversity of functions, uses, contrasts of density, views and ways to invest and occupy the port;
– Highlighting the accesses to the site with remarkable entities, by their physical presences, their types and their potential of connexion, with the ambition to structure the landscape and to catalyse new uses;
– Offering to every house, without exception, a direct link to water and to an area of vegetation thanks to a radical and modest insertion of the ensemble.
Conservatory of dance and music
Sarajevo can be defined by different architectural singularities. The kiosque, a small typical urban structure creative of public life, is one of them. These small structures are not autonomous objects but rather interdependent entities that are a part of the urban conditions of Sarajevo.
This project is about working on such urban objects in order for them to generate free and structured areas with the ambition of breaking down the barriers between the public uses of the square and the auditorium programme. Such typical objects will be the factor of urban activities and will enable an understanding of the ground floor as an inner continuity of the public square and its uses.
On the other floors, the music and dance conservatory adopts a different strategy due to its private character and its divided programme. It transposes, in a contemporary way, the model of inwardness in Sarajevo (caravanserai) where a community hostel for musicians and dancers is connected to a series of rooms at the periphery by a belt of circulation, layout and services.
As a whole, the project seeks to think of a new way to conceive the future of Sarajevo through its urban guidelines. It also tries to consider public equipment in Sarajevo not as an isolated building but as a building which can be absorbed in an urban centre fabric that generates around him an accurate density i.e. constructed density and urban activities density.