DECREATIEVE MACHINE / The ‘’Creative Machine’’

Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Team: Irgen Salianji, Marina Kounavi, Marco de Vincentiis
Total Area: 2.000 m2
Client: Gemeente Groningen

Status: Competition Project


INLEIDING
Groningen is een steeds groeiende stad met nu meer dan 200.000 inwoners. Landelijk staat Groningen bekend als “Metropool van het Noorden”. Deze terminologie is juist voor Groningen zeer toepasbaar. Het historisch-geografische en typologische contrast van Groningen als stad, met de omliggende regio is voelbaar van Drenthe tot op de Rottumerplaat, en van Friesland tot in Duitsland. Deze regionale dynamiek heeft de rol van Groningen als belangrijkste stedelijk en cultureel centrum in het hart van de provincie versterkt. Het is ons inziens de provincie-overstijgende kwaliteit van Groningen die de term Metropool echt recht doet. Van oudsher - en tot buiten de provinciegrenzen - wordt Groningen dan ook aangeduid met het simpele woord “Stad”. Inwoners van Groningen noemen zichzelf “Stadjers”. Groningen is voor 100% De Stad.

Voor de toekomst van deze Metropool van het Noorden is het vooral zaak dat we innovatieve  stadsvernieuwingen, inbreidingen, renovaties of uitbreidingen van cultureel programma- en dienstenaanbod goed laten aansluiten op het bestaande culturele en stedelijke weefsel van Groningen. Het Ebbingekwartier is door haar ligging aan de rand van het centrum, enerzijds en grenzend aan woonwijken anderzijds bij uitstek een koppelstuk om de hoge culturele ambitie van de stad waar te maken en de culturele verbindingen tussen wonen en ontmoeten, ontspanning en (re-)creatie voor zijn inwoners en bezoekers een nieuwe vorm en identiteit te geven.


INTRODUCTION
The city of Groningen is a continuously growing city of 250.000 residents and it is  well-known as the “Metropolis of the North”, or simply as “Martinistad”. Its role as the main urban and cultural centre of the North, defines Groningen as one of the most important cities in the Netherlands.  A brighter future for the city should be therefore based on the extrapolation of its current cultural and urban networks. Within this frame, the Ebbingekwartier has the potential to condense the high cultural ambition of the city of Groningen and ultimately reshape its image for the citizens and visitors.



MANIFEST
Zo cultuur de hoeksteen is van elke Europese stad dan lezen wij de voorliggende opgave niet alleen als oproep om vijf onafhankelijke culturele instanties onder één dak samen te brengen, maar ook om te voorzien in de creatieve continuïteit van deze plek en zijn integratie binnen Groningen’s bestaand stedelijk weefsel.
Onze visie is om een unieke identiteit te creëren, de dichtheid te verhogen, spanning op te zoeken en wrijving te maximaliseren door de bestaande publieke ruimtes te activeren, het hergebruik van de bestaande gebouwen (erfgoed) op deze site en de verschillende culturele instanties te verbinden zodat zij samen gaan werken als een machine. In de innovatieve geest van stadsarchitect Mulock Houwer willen wij het Ebbingekwartier benaderen als een creatieve machine, een cultuurcondensator, die de samengebalde energie van de verschillende kunst-disciplines dans, muziek en theater zichtbaar, voelbaar kan maken. Een nieuwe plek voor passie, vernieuwing en experiment. Zoals een condensator, die samengestroomde energie in pulsen afgeeft aan zijn omgeving, geven we met de transformatie van het Ebbingekwartier een krachtige culturele impuls aan de Stad.

MANIFESTO
 As culture consists the cornerstone of each European city, our challenge is not simply to accommodate five independent cultural institutions under the same roof, but also create continuity and integration within Groningen’s existing networks.  Our vision is to create a unique identity, increase density, provoke tension and maximize friction by activating the existing public spaces, reuse the existing buildings of the plot and connect the different cultural institutions, so that they perform as an urban condenser. We approach the Ebbingekwartier as a machine that expresses the energy, the passion and the experimentation that defines theatre, dance and music.  It is the moment to innovate, experiment, act!

CONTEXT
Het Ebbingekwartier ligt vlak aan het oude historische centrum van de stad, minder dan één kilometer verwijderd van het stadhuis en minder dan twee van het centraal station. Dergelijke ‘buren’ versterken in potentie niet alleen de aantrekkingskracht van het Ebbingekwartier voor Groningers, maar ook voor bezoekers van buiten de stad en verder. De nabijheid van de Stadsschouwburg Groningen vergroot dit potentieel en versterkt het culturele karakter van deze plek.
Er is ons inziens enige onbalans in de manier waarop de stad momenteel onder druk van urbanisatie en groeiende vraag om woningen uitbreidt. In contrast met het historische centrum kenmerken de nieuwe woonwijken zich door een gebrek aan diversiteit van functies en dichtheid. Door juist buiten het centrum een stevige culturele puls te genereren met de cultuur-condensator in het Ebbingekwartier kan de stad hier wel degelijk uitbreiden. De lokale verrijking van de levendigheid hier tussen centrum en woonwijk, zal een positieve invloed hebben opde leefkwaliteiten van de wijdere, zich uit- en inbreidende, zich vernieuwende stad. De grote uitdaging van deze opdracht is om het bestaande erfgoed van deze site met de toekomst te verenigen en het stedelijke volume zodanig te intensiveren dat het ensemble als een geheel kan functioneren. Als een machine die, gebruik makend van bestaande grondstoffen, nieuwe (culturele) producten vervaardigd.


CONTEXT
The Ebbingekwartier is adjacent to the old historical city of Groningen, it is located in less than 1 kilometre distance from the city hall and less than 2 kilometres from the central train station. These adjacencies highlight the great potential of the area to attract not only people from the city but also visitors from the rest of the Netherlands.  Its proximity to the city theatre (Stadsschouwburg Groningen) creates greater momentum and intensifies the cultural character of the site.
 A misbalance is being created in the way that the city is expanding, due to the increasing urbanisation and the continuous demand for housing.  In contrast to the historical centre of a city, the new residential areas lack diversity of functions and density. Locating a new cultural cluster at the Ebbingekwartier leads to the seamless expansion of the city and brings vividness to the wider region, as it is mediating between the historical centre and a large residential area. The big challenge of the competition brief is to connect the existing buildings of the site and intensify the urban block, so that they function together as a living organism- a machine that uses its existing resources and adds new ones.

CONCEPT
Paradoxaal genoeg zijn typologieën van de podiumkunsten vaak gesloten volumes. Zelden openen zij zich, of tonen zij hun bestaansreden, het schouwspel, aan de stad. In ons ontwerp plaatsen wij repetitieruimtes in het hart van dit project en openen wij deze voor de stad. Ze verlevendigen zo het straatbeeld en presenteren het proces van culturele productie binnen een theater. De typische introverte layout van podia wordt omgedraaid en juist de repetitiezalen, kantoren en evenement-ruimtes zullen zich met het stedelijke domein verbinden. We willen de oefenruimtes en backstage ruimtes waarbinnen theaterproducties zich afspelen, ontrafelen. De grootste oefenruimte positioneren we in het midden van het project, als multifunctionele ruimte, wellicht getransformeerd tot auditorium om uiteenlopende evenementen van de verschillende gebruikers te accommoderen. Bezoekers kunnen hier kennis nemen van de verschillende instanties en hun creatieve processen volgen, van voorbereiding tot uiteindelijke productie van een stuk.
Ons voorstel krijgt de vorm van een (ver-)dichte lineaire container, waarbinnen de vijf instanties op een organische wijze gehuisvest worden. Horizontaal grijpen de ruimtes van de gebruikers in elkaar. Zo vloeien zij in een een continu ritme in elkaar over, terwijl de ruimtes verticaal van elkaar gescheiden, de onafhankelijkheid van iedere instantie waarborgen. Alle gebruikers hebben een eigen ingang, maar zij zijn door lineaire gangen onderling verbonden. Hierdoor blijven de organisaties flexibel, maar verenigd binnen een gedeelde mantel. Om de connectiviteit te verhogen zal de begane grond fungeren als het ‘zachte’ verbindende element tussen de stad, de nieuwe structuur, de Machinefabriek en Villa B.
De entree van het Condensator Theater bevind zich in Villa B, een belangrijk gebouw dat niet alleen gepreserveerd zal blijven, maar zal worden geaccentueerd als de connector tussen de nieuwbouw  en de Machinefabriek waar het NNT haar plaats heeft. De catering en het café van het complex zullen hier ook een plek krijgen. Voor wat betreft de begane grond, is het onze intentie om open en groene publieke ruimte te voorzien die als basis zal dienen voor informele evenementen en culturele interactie tussen de buren en de staf van de culturele instanties – een leefbare kunstcampus.


CONCEPT
Paradoxically, most of the typologies of performing arts centres hardly ever open up and reveal their purpose, the spectacle, to the city. We position rehearsal rooms at the very core of the project and open up to the city, as they animate the street and present the process of cultural production within theatres. We intent to invert the typical introvert layout of performance centres and instead connect the rehearsal rooms, workspaces and event spaces to the urban realm. We aim to unravel the training and backstage spaces in which theatre production is taking place. Moreover, we propose to position the biggest of the rehearsal rooms in the centre of the project, so that it could perform as a multi-functional room or even be transformed into an auditorium to serve diverse events from all the institutions. Therefore, visitors would familiarize with the work of the institutions and experience the process from the preparation to the final production of a play.   


We propose the creation of a dense linear container that houses the five institutions in an organic way, providing horizontal continuity while preserving the vertical independence of each one. All the institutions will have a separate entrance, yet they will be bound together by linear corridors that can interconnect one to the other.  Therefore they will stay flexible within a shared and unifying envelope. To enhance connectivity, the porous ground floor acts as the connector between the city, the new structure, the Machinefabriek and Villa B.


The entrance hall of the Theatre City would be inside the Villa B, an important building that will not only be preserved but it will be further highlighted as the connector between the new buildings that will host the four cultural institutions and the Machinefabriek that hosts NNT. The catering and the cafe of the complex will be located there as well. As far as the ground floor is concerned, our intention is to create open and green public spaces that provide a base for informal events and cultural interaction between the neighbours and the staff of the cultural institutions- a liveable campus for arts.

New Cyprus Museum

Team: Irgen Salianji, Marina Kounavi, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Roxana Aron, Eugenio Cardoso
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Total Area: 16.000 m2
Client: Department of Public Works of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works

Status: Competition Project





Cityscape
The site’s location adjacent to Nicosia’s most important cultural buildings and in between the old city’s Venetian walls and the Pedieos river create a dynamic context for the design decisions taken in the design of Cyprus Muse¬um. The potentials and the shape of the site, alongside its location, inspire a building typology that is free-standing and accessible all around - a pavilion in the park. The direct connection with the existing Cyprus Museum and the continuity to the municipal park on the North are the key elements for the urban alignment of the proposal. The building is positioning in the heart of the site as a central polarity that is surrounded by generous public and green spaces, as well as a series of open spaces for var¬ious cultural activities all around it. The volume is rotated in such a way that it can have clear alignments and re¬late to the house of the Representatives and the existing Cyprus Museum. As a result the building is standing be¬tween the urban and the natural realm, aiming to become an incubator of activities.





Statement
Statistic surveys indicate that the majority of visitors in museums are mainly tourists and not people from the local community. This fact raises questions on the different facilities that the museums have to have in order to broaden the spectrum of visitors and being active cultural nodes of a city.
Cyprus is one of the oldest civilizations in the Aegean Sea that is dating back from 3900-2500 BC. Its collection is enormous and will attract people from all around the world. The New Cyprus Museum is aiming to be a meeting point for tourists, academics, students and archeologists in the Mediterranean Sea. The building has to meet the criteria of a contemporary archeological museum and its deign to be innovative in terms of new technologies, research of new curatorial approaches and facilities that could offer.





The museum acts as cultural hub that attracts people to meet, interact and socialize. On a second level, the museum functions as a tourist meeting point, where visitors meet and enjoy a relaxing time, checking out the really big permanent exhibition but also, temporary exhibits, drinking coffee and getting informed for the city’s attractions and happenings.















Concept
The ground based volume is shifted towards the Venetian Walls and the existent museum connecting them with Pedieos river and the extension of the municipal garden. The position of it is creating an urban passage that is the main entrance of the new Cyprus Museum. Subtracting the volume of the urban passage, we are creating a void that is a placeholder for all the interactive and public program of the building. In the same time the void separates the building into two different podiums that they serve separately public and restricted access functions. The exhibition is on the end of these two podiums working as a connector.





Organization
The museum is designed as an open programmatic condenser featuring a large urban room in the heart of it, a gener­ous space of gathering for the visitors and a challenging ground for curators to exhibit archeology in an open and non linear format that has been previously unforeseen. The void is connecting the city with the permanent exhibition space on the top floor through a series of large and monumental stairs, ramps and stepped interior landscapes on which visitors can also seat, use and celebrate. As the implementation of the building program includes two different phases of construction, we proposed the creation of three different buildings of different scales and architectural language: the box-shaped large museum building, the cross-shaped building that will house the department of antiquities and the library building, to be housed inside the renovated and extended existing building.






The lower part of the building is divided into two different podiums with independent access, program and circulation. The Southern podium is housing the visitor’s amenities and services on the ground floor, the laboratories on the three levels above and the administration on the fifth floor. It is also connected with the storerooms that are located in the basement of the building through a large circulation core and freight elevator. This podium is steep and creates differ­ent platforms on which the employees could hang out while being at work. In the same time, the visitors are able to see the process that is going on at the laboratories without having access to it. The Northern podium serves the educational part of the program and on its surface, a part of the temporary exhibition of the museum is located. A stepped continuous surface and a ramp are creating both accessibility and dynamic ex­hibition spaces, proposing a different- more challenging curatorial structure. Such spatial arrangements motivate the visitor to meander around the exhibits and, on key moments, to observe a continuous landscape of exhibits.







 Exhibition
The lower part of the building is divided into two different podiums with independent access, program and circulation. On the northern podium, the temporary exhibition is located on a stepped continuous surface and a ramp that are creating both accessibility and dynamic exhibition spaces, proposing a different- more challenging curatorial structure. Such spatial arrangements motivate the visitor to meander around the exhibits and, on key moments, to observe a landscape of exhibits, as for example and array of sculptures. The proposal refers to the qualities of the cabinet of the curiosities (Kunstkammer) and the museum of Soane. In the same time, this surface is leading the visitor to the upper two floors of the permanent exhibition. 







The permanent exhibition is located on the top floor and is a well defined rectangular and flexible space with indirect controlled light­ing from the roof. The floor-plan allows for multiple exhibition layouts and performs as a generic background for the archaeological ex­hibits to stand out. The design is based on a series of pivoting walls that are mounted on the columns, providing the curators with the possibility to easily change the space according to the needs of the exhibition.









Wonen in Winkels, 1st Prize Competition Winner

Status: 1st Prize competition winner, Under Development
Team: Marina Kounavi, Marialena Kasimidi
Client: Gemeente Rotterdam, Woonlab010
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands



Rotterdam is constant in vernieuwing, maar slopen is een verouderde aanpak voor leegstand. Hergebruik kan meer kwaliteit, duurzaamheid, betaalbaarheid en sociale impact resulteren. De bewoners geven Rotterdam hun eigen identiteit. Momenteel worden er nieuwe doelgroepen ontwikkeld in de stad: Jonge ondernemers wonen en werken in het centrum of beginnen hun eigen startup. Internationale mensen willen langer in Rotterdam blijven en de stadswijken van Noord, Delfshaven, Feijenoord en Charlois hebben al een sterk multiculturele omgeving. Jonge families willen voor een normale prijs kopen en vinden het leuk om zelf hun huis te renoveren op basis van hun eigen inzicht. Deze nieuwe doelgroepen willen in bijzonder kluswoningen gaan wonen. Wijken die tolerant, hip en multicultureel zijn kunnen dit nieuwe aanpak voor leven integreren.


De 14 geselecteerde winkels hebben zeer bijzondere kenmerken, maar ze hebben ook specifieke uitdagingen. Het zonlicht komt alleen uit twee zijden en de hoogte van een aantal winkels is laag. Er is grote diversiteit aan vierkantenmeters en er zijn alleen een paar winkels die een eigen achtertuin hebben. De winkels worden casco aangeboden en dat geeft juist meer flexibiliteit in hergebruik. De gevels zijn uniek en vertellen de geschiedenis van de straat, maar privacy is een cruciale uitdaging. Elke nieuwe bewoner heeft een uniek verhaal en er zijn veel inspirerende transformatie mogelijkheden voor de winkels. Een diverse groep van bewoners kan samen kiezen uit een toolkit. Standaard elementen kunnen met specifieke interventies combineert worden om uniek huizen te maken. Met de architectencheque willen we deze toolkit samen met de bewoners verder ontwikkelen door regelmatige workshops te organiseren om alle woonwensen te integreren in het ontwerp. Het schetsontwerp zal het product van dit fase zijn. Onze aanpak is gebaseerd op de participatie van de gebruikers en de ontwikkeling van tools, ideeën en ontwerpen van één of meer huizen.











Seoul Art Complex

Status: competition project
Team: Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Marina Kounavi, Alessandro Fontanella, Ally Hyun, Stavria Psomiadi
Total Area: 5 500 m2



The site for the new Pyeongchang-dong Art Complex in Seoul is located in the beautiful mountainous site of Bukhansan, a historical and most beloved central nature feature in Seoul. The new Pyeongchang-dong Art Complex of Seoul is conceived as four stacked pavilions, integrated the natural slope of the site; The building becomes the extension of the surrounding green environment. The hilly site integrated volume is introduced in order to minimize the disturbance to the natural environment. The building shows itself from the top in symbiosis with the landscape, becoming a multiple series of green terraces that are easily reachable from the public.




Overall volume is pragmatically fragmented corresponding to the surrounding context scale including scale of existing buildings and greenscape. The link between the fragmented volumes is the open-archive, that became also path and main connection, in the concept of simultaneity and horizontal network. It is the spine-like elongated vertical path functioning networking with other spatial programs throughout the entire complex. This space is designed to respond to various genre, medium of arts and activities simultaneously and become an experiential journey of strolling, gathering, resting, reading, tutoring, learning, observing, communicating.




Flexible configuration of community learning space encourages interaction from visitors for participative learning experience. An welcoming open space relates the inside and the outside of architecture closely in both visual association and physical connection by large opening and spans. The master plan provides the two small plots on its north and south which becomes the sustainably paved open space/parking area. West plot became a terraced sculpture and botanical garden, also outdoor space for exhibitions and performances.



평창동 미술문화복합공간의 계획부지는 수려한 북한산의 자연경관을 담고있습니다.

부지의 자연 경사를 따라 흐르듯이 뻗어나온 4개의 수평선은 평창동과 북한산에 새로운 정체성을 부여할 것입니다. 과거, 현재 그리고 미래를 엮는 문화유산과 자연환경을 기반으로한 체험위주의 산교육장으로서 인근 지역민과 활동 예술가, 방문객들과 어린이들에게 항시 열려있을 것이며, 그들이 직접 참여하여 만들어낸 것을 전시하는 자연과 하나된 창의적 무대를 엮는 길이 될것입니다. 경사를 따라 설계된 우아한 긴 네개의 볼륨 및 구조는 현 부지의 자연환경에 최소한의 영향을 미치기 위함이며, 자연경관 및 주변환경의 높이, 스케일등을 종합적으로 고려한 설계안입니다.



전체적으로 경사를 따라 분할된 볼륨을 전체적으로 엮는 공간은 오픈 아카이브 스페이스입니다. 이는 단순한 계단의 수직 동선 역할뿐만이 아니라, 건축물의 공간 및 다른 기능들을 엮어주는 길이자, 미술문화복합공간의 강한 척추와같은 공간으로써 공간과 공간 사이마다 다양하고 복합적이며 즉흥적인 창작 및 예술/교육 활동, 사람과 사람 사이의 교류를 가능케하는 종합적인 오픈 스페이스입니다. 충분한 층고와 자연 환기 및 자연 채광이 이루어지는 공간으로 친환경적이며 쾌적한 실내는 이용자로 하여금 유쾌한 여러 활동들 - 산책, 모임, 휴식, 독서, 교육, 배움, 관찰, 대화, 교류 등 -

을 제공할 것입니다.



단순히 기능만을 담는 공간으로서의 건축을 탈피하여 대지와 순응, 주변과 소통을 이루는 건축 프로그램과 동선의 엮임을 통해 다양한 시퀀스를 만들어 냅니다. 1차적인 단순한 관람, 독서등의 시설기능보다는 창의적이고 유기연계적인 활동을 지원하는 아트플랫폼은 외부와 내부의 경계가 자연스럽게 사라질 수 있되, 외부에서는 자연환경과 어우러질 수 있는 재질과 색상 선정에 주안점을 두었습니다. 재질을 고려함에 있어 자연환경의 영향, 현지의 기후, 유지관리의 편의성 등 또한 고려하였습니다.