Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
2011 Taipei Museum Competition in Taiwan by Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
September 25th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
To achieve the objectives of an architecturally iconic museum of art with versatile art exhibition spaces in a highly sustainable project this proposal defines the concept of art exhibition beyond the conventional “stuffy” notions of uniformly rectangular, windowless interior galleries. Instead, the project provides both interior and exterior venues for a variety of public experiences, and creates the opportunity for day-lighting and sustainability in ways that are unprecedented for art museums.
FORM AND ELEMENTS:
Building and landscape architecture are intrinsically designed as a unified, iconic expression in which the configuration of the project is strongly reactive to the site context of park, river, canal, train station and other urban elements. The building form in site plan consists of four major volumes that surround a circular, central public space that is open to the sky. These spaces serve not only as an organizing device and focus of the Museum, it also acts as a center for Park and Museum visitors as well as Retail shoppers.
We dub the central volume of the project “The Pantheon”, with the circular opening to the sky its “Oculus” and the ground level public space, the “Plaza.” Radiating from the Oculus and Plaza are full height, open to the sky “Slots” which define the building volumes, and which are connected by bridges. The Plaza is major civic space for both formal and informal art, civic, entertainment activities, and related to not only the Museum but to City vitality. The Plaza is the nexus of Landscape Design, Architecture, Sustainability, and Urban Design as a cohesive concept. Architecturally, the hub of this project is the Pantheon Plaza, surrounded by a “cone” formed from the four building wall arcs facing this central space, and daylit by the Oculus opening. The cone has strategically located viewing points at the upper levels, which enable visitors to observe and be engaged by the Pantheon and Plaza from high vantage points.
The prominence of water in this project and particularly in the Pantheon pays homage to the dramatic role of thunderstorms and typhoons in this semi-tropical context, in concert with the need for water conservation despite the seeming abundance of water. (The merging of visual design and sustainability using water is further described within the “Sustainability” section of this narrative.) The Plaza design celebrates water, light (daylight and nighttime lighting) and landscape, providing both psychologically and thermally cooling effects of green landscape, constructed wetland, reflective beauty of water elements, the symbolic and architectural integration of the adjacent existing Canal, fragrance of flowers, and the acoustical benefits of water and plants. The surface of the plaza is slightly tilted towards the center, enabling thin sheets of diverted storm-water to wash across stone or concrete paving in complement with the landscape planting. The ultimate destination of this water is collection in a huge subsurface cistern. Beyond the ground level Pantheon perimeter is a promenade circumscribing the circulation space between retail in the building volumes and the public plaza.
Within the four building volumes are the building program for the ground floor Retail, the upper level Galleries, the Children’s Museum, Administration, Library and Restaurants. The park and City facing walls are comprised of a “screen” of lightweight, high performance concrete, behind which glazing is protected from the relentless sun yet allows views towards the outside. The roofs of the four building volumes slightly tilt down toward the “Oculus”, and are comprised of controlled-light admitting solar p.v. elements. While the four building volumes allow a variety of gallery configurations and sizes, the top level can avail itself of the roof level daylighting – or not – through controls via either physical hardware and/or electronic means.
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