Cultural architecture is defined by shared values and exchange. It centers on humanity, civic life and a story of how societies evolve over time. Whether museums, libraries, visitor centers or monuments, these spaces tell stories about a region, culture and place. This week’s curated selection of the Best Unbuilt Architecture focuses on museums and cultural projects designed in both rural and urban settings. Drawn from all over the world, they represent proposals submitted by our readers.
Trading a diversity of typologies for a range of settings and contexts, these projects showcase many different ways to tell a story of culture. They each showcase diverse taxonomies, formal approaches and spatial organizations, from a tower in Shenzhen to a Mediterranean school in Corsica and an art center in New South Wales, Australia.
Read on to discover 12 curated projects highlighting cultural projects and museums proposals around the world, along with their project descriptions from the architects.
Sharjah Modern: Barjeel Art Foundation Museum
The ‘Sharjah Modern’: Barjeel Art Foundation Museum proposal is an exploration in rethinking the timeless architectural typologies in the region with a contemporary mindset. Drawing on fractal tessellations, the team designed a modular building that provides spaces for meeting, dwelling and enjoying art. Taking notes from the tools of regional space-making with a contemporary design mindset; the building is a seamless integration of exterior to interior.
Viby Library and Culture House
The small town of Viby Denmark is getting a brand new culture house and library, a new living room for the city. The overall architectural concept of the culture house and library is that the building will be a place for lingering and staying, as well as a be short-cut permeating the urban space of the city. To achieve this the social zones and the openness of the architecture play a key role. At the ground floor, citizen services, café, flex-room for workshops are placed. The library is placed at the first floor of the cultural house. It is designed as an interconnected open floor with all spaces linked together.
Seoul Photographic Art Museum
For the Seoul Photographic Art Museum, our proposal aims at constructing an architecturalized organism to orchestrate the natural sunlight on the building envelope and the interior space. Regarding the building form as a darkroom, the interior spaces capture a variety of lighting effects in intended ways. A building-height atrium is placed in the center of the museum and connects every functional room. The openings and bridges around the atrium provide diverse visual experiences of verticality. Like a camera projects an image through the lens, the atrium plays the role of derivating the sunlight inside.
Iceland Volcano Museum
The site for this Iceland Volcano Museum is located just east of Lake Myvatn. The organic shape and form of the building is adopted from nature and the surrounding region of the site. The museum is a 3-story building with elevated viewing platforms on the roof top and the first floor. Visitors and toursits can access these elevated viewing platgorms to enjoy amazing views from different directions and angles.
Zhengzhou Public Cultural Center
Zhengzhou City is located in the Zhengxi New District, with the ultimate vision to use historical and cultural elements of the north-south axis and the ecological resources of the main channel in future developments and urban planning. It's a large scale urban planning allows Zhengzhou Public Cultural Services Centre to develop a city with a multi-level cultural and innovative space integrating interactive functions such as a sports complex, an art museum, and recreational areas for educational purposes, leisure and entertainment, training programs, and conference services. The primary objective is to encourage interaction between families as an individual or a community.
Batemans Bay Aquatic and Arts Center
The Batemens Bay Aquatic and Arts Centre was a competition to unite the complex programs for an aquatic centre and the arts facility under a single roof. Produced in Collaboration with BKK architects in Melbourne, the proposal united the facilites under an evolving roof and facade scape which moderates light, views, temperature, shelter and landscape as it negotiates the internal programs of the swimming pools, conference facilities, concert hall, sculpture galleries and an external amphitheatre.
Islamic Revolution & Holy Defense Museum
Islamic ‘Revolution & Holy Defense Museum’ is designed to manifest a conceptual approach to the form of the museum while adhering to the design norms and standards that apply to the subject. The very solid material selection for the façade, contradicts the smoothness of the artificial lake and this is a conceptual reference to the contradicting human feelings manifest during crises such as war.
Apple Museum is located in a critical point on a highway where it welcomes and embraces the ones coming to city, it assumes a series of "threshold" space characteristics. Threshold spaces are transition areas where something turns into something else and they hold the potential of representation. The museum which is located in an urban threshold provides the representation and introduction of the City with a ‘Vitrin’ function.
Lianrun Office Tower and Cultural Center
Since the Shenzhen is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, densification gets the biggest challenge and ask for more radical approaches behind the standards and conventions. The team created an urban hybrid in a form of Wooden Blocks stacking sculpture, only instead of from wood it is made from the city substance, from the city content. The team stacked the whole composites of “Facility + Plaza + Garden” and lifted it vertically one on top of the other.
Edmond Simeoni School & Cultural Center
Amelia Tavella begins on her native Corsican island the construction of the Edmond Simeoni School and Cultural Center. This school embraced Lumio and it became its landscape, marrying the village and what surrounds it. It follows its curves, to slip into them, to magnify them and to respond to them as the echo responds to the calling voice. The line doesn’t break, but multiplies. Following the model of terraces, the school is aligned with the slopes of Lumio. The work was made to honor her ancestors and bear the imprint of Lumio and its identity.
Museum of Language
JDAP designed an international center for language in Songdo, South Korea. Sited on a bend in the stream that runs through the city's central park, the building forms an open gateway that draws people from the park, into an Open Centre at the heart of the building. Gently draped over a mound at one end and hovering over a pond at the other, the building is organised around a seamless flow of visitors through the building's collections.
Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Center
The main idea is to connect the visitor centre with the reserve’s nature at all levels of the project. To create an autonomous environment with the distinct genius loci. The building works with the natural connection between the organic and inorganic components of nature, which permeates not only the technical part (cooling and condensation system) but also all didactic strategies - living parts of the facades, water elements and indoor life organisms, specifically live forms influenced by carotenoid.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN UNBUILT PROJECT
We highly appreciate the input from our readers and are always happy to see more projects designed by them. If you have an Unbuilt project to submit, click here and follow the guidelines. Our curators will review your submission and get back to you in case it is selected for a feature.