THE NUCLEUS OF A CELL
The proposal is structured upon the fundamental intention that, like the nucleus of a cell, the exhibition areas be treated as the condensed core, encircled by the diverse functional sectors of the gallery, the outdoor areas included. Out of this springs a rich potential in which the following, mutually supporting assets are rooted,
• balanced distribution of built/open areas within the site;
• sound modulation of the osmosis between the scheme and the context that surrounds it;
• due protection of the exhibition core, in the sense that the spatial zones forming its periphery stand out as a first defensive layer of natural shields that filter down gradually the natural light along its course inwards the exhibition rooms;
• a well regulated system of relationships (diversified in quality, frequency and intensity) according to which the proper modus operandi will be attained both among the parts of the gallery complex and between each one of these and the surrounding context.
THE DIAGONAL PASSAGEWAY
The chart of accesses and of the visitors’ circulation is an issue of prime importance, especially when considered in direct connection to the sloping site and to the consequent question regarding the respective arrangement of the scheme’s levels, i.e., in due accord with the said slope. In this instance, it is the diagonal passageway -running through the site from N-W in a S-E direction downwards to the Drava embankment – which forms the organizational spine of the proposal.
The aforementioned cell-like arrangement, i.e., the exhibition core embraced by the “C” – shaped peripheral units, contributes to a consistent, logical, tight and potentially rich systemization of the gallery’s diverse functional sectors, according to the following criteria:
• Direct/indirect communication with the entry hall
• Visitors’ easy orientation
• Concern for the proper location and the provision of an additional, separate access for those units which are expected to function independently
• Degree of openness/seclusion in relation to the outdoor spaces
Masterplan // 1:500
Basic plans // 1:500
upper ground floor // level +257.20
second floor // level +266.00
thanks to this inclined route, a bi-partite though unified ground floor, i.e., the entry hall, is created. It constitutes the “City Living Room”, the upper part (+257,20) of which slides down gently to the lower one (+254,35). This spatial procession helps extend the entry hall as far as the S-W corner of the site where two additional access points welcome the visitor approaching either from the Studenška bridge or directly from the embankment.
The smooth transition from the upper to the lower part of the entry hall is made by means of a spacious flight of steps, destined to serve as an ad hoc amphitheatre, as a locus of repose, as a ground for miscellaneous activities.
The exhibition spaces are organized in four levels, the lower one of which (+254,35) houses the Permanent Collection, whereas the Temporary Exhibitions occupy the three higher levels (+262, +267, +272).
Interjected at level +257,20, i.e., above the Permanent Collection’s plateau and below the Temporary Exhibitions, the eastern (upper) part of the entry hall constitutes a mezzanine level, visually connected to both these divisions of the Exhibition space. It contributes to the organization of the respective visiting routes as well as renders the articulation of the Gallery’s main interior space easily legible.
A sequence of varied room heights, developing gradually from 4,00 m to 12,00 m, marks the spatial atmosphere of the Exhibition space, while it regulates the arrangement of exhibits according to their size and genre.
an urban promenade, (abstraction of an ascending spiral),
• permeates extensive portions of the scheme,
• brings about open (albeit mostly sheltered) paths, plateaus and terraces amongst the indoor areas (in concordance with the homocentric spatial layering of the “cell-like” structure) and
• regulates their mutual distribution.
This all-pervading promenade impregnates the gallery complex with lightness, openness and transparency. Most important, it confers upon it a civic rhythm and atmosphere since it backs up -and provides with free public access- a range of destinations, properly urban as regards their character, the main among which being the Catering Services, the Educational Workshops, the Residences and the Creative Industry Centre.
Adaptation to the city scale, cityscape and content
The magnitude of the programme notwithstanding, one of the major concerns of the proposal addresses the issue of allotting an appropriate scale to the built masses of the gallery complex with regard
• to the content borne by them;
• to the surrounding urban tissue;
• to the majestic expanse of the Drava landscape and
• to the prestigious character and silhouette the complex is bound to radiate.
When viewed in the context of the surrounding cityscape, the “C” pattern combines with the line of historic buildings facing the city market and develops into a “meander” one which is further accentuated by the general layout of the peaceful leisure and commercial precinct of area “B”.
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