The Paradox of a Restricted Freedom
A juvenile center is a community, a shelter, a place that specializes into recovery, professional training and social reintegration of juveniles that have committed violations. Thus, the main users are children over 14 years old, sentenced to maximum 3 years. Therefore, this stage of the juveniles’ life is seen rather as a temporary one, working as a recovery mechanism, being a kind of “home away from home”.
Taking into consideration that a juvenile center is, in a sense, a program that borders and restricts freedom, the real challenge of the project was how to approach the boundaries. Starting from the idea that the wall separates, divides and houses, the interior disposal of spaces starts from it. The walls created are diving spaces, contain functions and give birth to various spaces, both indoor and out. From a flat element, the wall gains attachment, size and values. The wall gains a poetic-evocative value, marking a place and a time.
Whether is at the inside or out, the limit becomes wall, receives spaces and gains meaning. It is about having a diversity and richness of spaces with certain qualities, where these children can find their own place and corner, a space of “crime and punishment”, but capable to show the way to redemption and hope in a better life.
Who influences you graphically?
First of all, I am strongly influenced by the optimistic and joyful work of Fala Atelier. Even though their representation is sometimes naïve, I feel that this kind of approach is very suitable for my kind of project. Furthermore, I really like how OMMX pays attention to materials and details in their images, not even to mention their compositional skills, through which they are able to express certain atmospheres and feelings. I moreover love how OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen makes use of rigidity and geometry in their graphics to create atemporal images. Last but not least, I should mention the dynamics of Giorgio de Chirico, combined with the frames and sequences of Wes Anderson, that are able to portrait a diversity and richness of spaces.
To what extent is you colour palette influenced by the concept of a juvenile centre and thus a place aimed at adolescents?
A juvenile center should be a positive space that’s meant to “recycle” adolescents and fulfil them with hope and will. Therefore, these things must be felt on all levels – from functionality to graphics.
What dictated the materiality of the proposal?
From the beginning I thought about this project as being a paradox. How am I able to constrain its users, to make them realise they live in a restrictive freedom, but at the same time, offer them the possibility to dream and hope for a better life? Thus, I created a main structure – an exposed concrete frame who’s objective is to make you realise your limitations, fulfilled with white face brick walls, in between which you can find your own peace and place.
Although the proposal is aimed at the reintegration of adolescents, these are represented as transparent figures, why so?
The transparency derives from the fact that this stage of adolescents’ lives is fleeting. It works as a step in their personal development, so they become ephemeral in this kind of space. Transparent as a metaphor for temporary.
How is this contrast between crime and punishment and redemption achieved graphically?
I tried to create this contrast with the help of materials, colours and last but not least, composition. The background (white, blue, grey, concrete, bricks) becomes a leitmotif, a screen which allows different details to be enhanced (the lamp, the mirror, the plant, the chair, the sun). The main frame (the place of crime and punishment), receives, therefore, multiple meanings and appropriations (redemption and hope).
Ada was born in 1990 in Brașov, Romania and graduated from the Architecture Faculty of Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism with a masers in July 2015. Between 2011 and 2012 she studied at Ecole Nationale d’Architecture de Montpellier, France, within the Erasmus Program. She subsequently followed through with an internship at EXHIBIT Architecture Studio in Brașov and another one at DC Alliance in Shanghai, China.