Architectural conception of cultural centre in Podolsk. Competition entry for Arch Moscow 2013. Awangard Award nominee.
The creation of concept of the cultural center presupposes first of all the necessity to take certain decisions, connected with the possibility of realization of the social-oriented functions that are usually requested from the constructions of the same typology. The specific characteristics of the small Russian town impose, nevertheless, certain limitations to this process, and at the same time throws light on the actual “illnesses” of the modern society. The search of the ways out of the situation, even on the local “small town-oriented” level, creates pre-conditions to the formation of the specific structural concept.
What is culture? According to the dictionary definition “Culture is the combination of industrial, social and spiritual achievements of people”. Culture defines society, and can be considered one of its main characteristic criteria. That is why the society without culture, the society that ignores that complex of achievements is the society that has lost any community. The individual personality as the unit of society tends to the unconscious alienation, separating the notions “me” and “us”. All of us, being in the never-ending transitional period, very often forget where are we going and where was our starting point. Once succeeded in finding comfortable surrounding we become right away self-concentrated and in the majority of cases react aggressively or indifferently on the signals that the people that surround us send us. The goal set by the new architecture is to propose the decision of this problem.
The concept of cultural center considers the transitory character of the space and accrues benefits from the negative spontaneity of the territory exploration. The new space – is the living organism, the park that involves in itself the citizens, by offering them the sort of adventurous excursion. By attracting and captivating the flow of visitors it plunges them into absolutely new, vivid, sometimes aggressive environment, that offers surprisingly new functions.
The building “intermingles” the visitors, puts them into the common cultural environment, prompts them, so different one from another, to go out from their “comfort zone” in order to know more about each other, to pay attention to the people that surround them. The space offers the sort of “choreographed chaos”. By passing through the new space while going from the point “A” to the point “B” people acquire new knowledge, new emotions. In fact, that becomes not only physical, but also mental displacement.