Paris based architecture firm, Arkepolis, has submitted their recent project, and entry for the Center for Promotion of Science in Belgrade for our readers. The architects description and additional images are available after the break.
Main objective: Create an amazing and remarkable science center, surprising and attractive. To build an architecture as a frame of contemporary science.
The urban surrounding: a series of isolated objects in a intricate network of highways. The existing buildings in the nearby blocks appear to be isolated forms, big, and surrounded by empty space. However, a focus point should distinguish itself from it’s environment: it should state what it is: an extraordinary place, unique, different. In order to step forward from the urban landscape and be noticed, the centre should not be the next isolated form among other existing ones, it should not be simply set on the ground like the other buildings around it.
The project: a deep break in the soil Our idea is a hole in the ground. It is a built in the depth. It breaks the landscape and draws attention. It interferes with the surrounding urban standard shape. It falls instead of climbing. It penetrates the ground instead of lying on it It suggest movement in a static environment.
Shaping the block: type an convergence of the paths towards the project Because the purpose of science is the study of nature, the design of the neighboring landscape is to surround the project with a forest, in which every pathway draws towards the gap and the falling cube, just as would water towards a hole.
Vertigo science / Vertigo project The 20th and 21st century science theories keep challenging everything mankind believed to be reliable or true: from relativity to quantum theory, the origins of the universe, the evolution of species, many paths that trouble and question man’s certainties and references. How can we understand the complexity of our science, the thin barrier between time and space, notions we are not yet capable of mastering. Instead of providing simple and secure answers, today’s science questions and pushes the limits of rational understanding, infinitely. Who ever attempts to master these theories will face a gap, a fracture, a crack, as if the ground of his beliefs should collapse, like time and space. It is this specific feeling of the great scientific unknown that led our project. The building collapses deeply in the ground. It creates a break in the thickness of the earth’s crust. The anxiety and vertigo of the visitor is a reflection of what our reason experiences when confronted to the mystery of the great unknown of the late discoveries.
The focusing point: a falling cubicle The only visible shape is the monumental cube that hosts the entrance lobby and the congress hall. But this cube is not set on the ground, still among other still objects: it is tilted, sliding towards the emptiness. Time has stopped while the building was falling, was sinking. Anyone looking at the site, visitor or drivers passing by, will inevitably understand and feel the effect of the frozen fall, and therefore understand that something is happening beneath the surface.
Indeed, the entire science center grows underneath, deep wise, instead of growing outwards. The effect of the huge mass will be enhanced as the light glowing from it and underneath it will give it a floating image, still, in the air and in time.
The visitor first follows the 20 meter wide stairway leading downwards to the main entrance. He crosses a bridge, allowing him to enter the tilted cubicle from underneath its down face. On each side of this bridge, 60 meters of a gigantic void surrounding the cubicle will display luminous bright colored shapes emerging from the architectural cliffs. Each one glowing like inlaid crystals in a cave. This dramatic and exciting first impression will strike the visitor instantaneously. Once inside the lobby, the visitor will be able to reach all the different areas of the center. He will be able to take the glass elevators that will bring him all the way down to the bottom of the break.