Croatian design team, AVP_arhitekti, has submitted to ArchDaily their latest project, Marine Research Center Bali. Their proposal seeks to align the center with the elemental characteristics of Bali itself. Follow after the jump for additional images and a thorough description from the architects.
MARINE RESEARCH CENTER The island of Bali, a very famous traveling destination, is mostly known for its sunsets, beaches and beautiful coastline. Moreover, one of its most remarkable views are the impressive volcanoes within highland. And finally, the architectural heritage manifested in the various shapes and materials of traditional temples give that extra spice as one of the many unforgettable motifs of this beautiful island.
The main challenge that we’ve put upon ourselves was to combine tradition and geographic characteristics of this island with the requested architectural assignment – a Marine research center for tsunamis. How to design a building within an impressive landscape (sea, volcanoes, temples, sunset…) without affecting such delicate balance?
IDEA The main idea came from the intention of making the above-sea level as less dominant on the Kuta beach horizon, famous for it’s surreal sunset, but symbolic enough to incorporate the very essence of island Bali and to become a new landmark.
SHAPE Our concept needed further development, so by analyzing several proposals, we came to a strong commitment to merge the sea and inland; an interaction of both elements, a symbiosis of these opposite essentials. Thus, the design is basically an interaction of solid and liquid, land and sea. By cutting voids on the original building mass, we created several spaces which are filled naturally with water to accomplish the different functions requirements of the MRC (marine research center), and on the other hand, solid volumes were manifested in the above-sea level as tops of volcanoes, connected on the under-sea level. The very same personification of everlasting relationship of land and sea, earth and water. The building also responds naturally to its environment , for example: When the ocean is at its “high-tide phase”, the building submerges into the sea, being covered by water just letting see its four pyramidal volumes or “volcanoes”, but when at “low-tide phase”, the MRC emerges again from within the sea to welcome the air, sun and guests, thus becoming a building that interacts with this natural process.
PROGRAM The program consisted basically in grouping all the functions within the MRC – semipublic, public, and private – and sort them horizontally throughout the building. The result is a basic division of 3 equal areas which at the same time define the structural grid. Sometimes the various programs interconnect (as the volumes) but parts in whole still preserve its given predominant function.
SPACES The main access is at the 0,00 (above-sea level) platform where we generated an open square (just on top of the seawater pool) with a glass floor for the public to enjoy, gather and observe the building and its surroundings. Then, visitors continue towards the auditorium at the -3,00 level. Inside they experience a wonderful and unique atmosphere thanks to the 2 different pools (seawater pool and aquatic garden) which surround the auditorium while receiving a welcoming lecture that introduces them to the work within the MRC. Visitors are then directed towards an enclosed corridor with overhead view to observe the scientists within their laboratories. Eventually, they are free to visit the cafe and restroom facilities which are easily reached from this level through a vertical communication. Scientist’s circulation is accomplished through corridors on level -6, 0 and -10, 0. Thus, the scientist have direct access to all areas of the MRC without interfering with the public communication.
MATERIALS The use of the adequate materials plays an essential role within the idea of creating a symbolic landmark, which in this particular case is achieved by using regional craft motifs, colors and textures characteristic for island of Bali. The concept of sustainability is present with the possibility of reducing energy consumption thanks to the use of latest technology in solar facades, natural ventilation and lightning (above water), management of waste and water recycling systems. All this towards the achievement of a building that responds not only in terms of architectural shape and design, but that sets the example to becoming a building which works in balance with its natural environment.