Visualising Space As An Open Invitation For Peoples’ Appropriation

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Visualising Space As An Open Invitation For Peoples’ Appropriation

 

Evgenia Vlachaki

Project 

The proposed Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See is set on the artificial island of Parcul Carol, a landscape which has served as the backdrop for the erasure, overwriting, and co-existence of several different scripts composed by successors of political power in the city up to this day. And it is this plurality and coexistence of ideologies that the scheme aims to put forward.

The design hints both to the historical layers of the island and to the present-day needs for a more welcoming Nunciature.

Historical layers of Parcul Karol, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

The island‘s transformation by King Karol during the National Expo of 1906 into a summer theatre served as reference to the past with the scheme re-introducing the notion of theatricality in the visual and physical relationship of the public and the staff achieved by the positioning of openings and public hardscaping.

Theatricality, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

In regards to the current embassy needs, a welcoming architecture is devised that invites for a moment of contemplation on the island in a collection of spaces which allow for different spatial experiences above and below the ground.

BasementInterior, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

The underground spaces, carved out from the earth, are hosting most of the private activities and are materialised in rammed concrete. The public activities are scattered on the ground surface and utilize the excavated soil of the subterranean part to build up layered rammed earth walls.

Section II, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

Dramatic daylight enters underground spaces, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

The site becomes a dynamic public landscape, which allows for park visitors to freely circulate around the volumes and to come closer to the function and philosophy of the modern nunciature.

Material transitions, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

Interview

Who influences you graphically?

I believe I am influenced daily by the imagery which appeals to me in the streets, galleries, and certainly online. I follow the work of several contemporary architects, artists and graphic designers in digital space, while I am surely influenced by my peers within the analogue architectural environments where I have been educated (The University of Sheffield BA, Architectural Association Summer School, TUDelft University of Technology MSc).

What is your take on the architectural silhouette? What role has skarglubbar played in the proliferation of these? 

The architectural silhouette makes its appearance in most of my drawings since it is important for me to visualize space as an open invitation for peoples’ appropriation. In addition, it directly allows the viewer to grasp the scale of a space, thus making a proposal even more comprehensible. In regards to Skalgubbar, I reckon it has facilitated the inhabitation of the architectural drawing and it has become a very popular resource between my pears. Having said that, it does seem a bit bizarre to see the same figures appear again and again in projects that have nothing to do with each other.

Faceted surfaces allow exploration and playful appropriation, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

What defined the yellowing of these within your images? 

In my images, I used coloured figures as a way to accentuate the opportunities for spatial appropriation of the scheme by the public.

 

You talk about the architecture hinting to the historical layers of the place, how could this have been more explored within the various images? 

Overall, the scheme hints both to the past of the island and to the present-day needs for a more welcoming Vatican embassy. During the research stage of the project, I had interviewed the Nuncio of the Hague who stressed that the mission of the nuncios is strongly linked to an understanding of the context to which they are each time. He stressed the respect for history in proposing solutions for the future. In reaction to this statement, the proposal hints at the past of the island, which during the National Expo of 1906 was transformed to a summer theatre by King Karol. The new scheme re-introduces the notion of theatricality in the visual and physical relation of the public and the staff. This is achieved formally by the positioning of openings and the varied floor levels. In regards to the current embassy needs, a welcoming architecture is devised that does not push the public away from the grounds of the Nunciature but rather invites a moment of contemplation on the island in a collection of spaces which allow for different experiences.

 

What dictated the use of the square format- how does the section escape this?

In this particular project I have worked with several different drawing formats, but it is something I tend to do in my work. I find that each drawing usually calls for its own format and I prefer to not homogenize my frames. This allows for more flexibility in composition and enables each drawing to communicate a different aspect of the project.

Multiuse space where talks on all religion are held, Evgenia Vlachaki, TUDelft MSc Architecture, Architecture and Public Building

What defined the use of the drawing a primary medium? 

Besides digital drawing, I experimented with physical models too but not to the same extent and not with the same intensity. Therefore, I chose to submit the material that expressed the essence of the project more effectively, in my opinion at least. Having said that, I am interested in the potential of other methods of representation, like the moving image and audio, and I would like to explore these in my upcoming graduation project in Chile. These are unexplored media in my design practice thus far, hence I believe it could be particularly interesting to utilize them in this case, especially because the project will address the commons of Valparaiso and its numerous communities.

egneia

 

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