Yaroslavl, The Bridge / Yijun Huang, Mengchan Tang, Dimitri Chava / UK, London
Our intention is to connect the important sites around the existing Spartakovets Stadium: the park to the northeast, the church of St Nicholas-at-Rubleny Gorod to the southeast, and the Church of the Saviour-at-Gorod to the west. We have created entrances directly facing those sites and have connected them together with a bridge structure with indoor space to separate with the outside climate in extreme times. This is the Bridge idea in relation to the urban and the architectural history of Yaroslavl. Thus the Bridge can integrate with the permanent exhibitions of the museum, which should be accessible without tickets, to provide a passageway of knowledge and history.
Visitors can also walk under the bridge between the wings to the other side of the site. This way we are not obstructing the urban flow by locking up an entire urban block. As explained below, only the central point of the lower space will be controlled as it is used as a lobby space.
Acknowledging that this project should also serve the Biennale, we have introduced other kinds of spaces that are distinctive in characters. There are five of them. Each is constructed with different material and tectonics in relation to the existing architectural construction techniques. Therefore those spaces provide different types of environment to interact with various exhibitions. Curators and designers are then allowed more diverse ways to occupy the venue. The Bridge that connects the urban, becomes a Bridge for the internal programs of the building itself.
The building has multiple entries: from the three street level entrances into the bridge, through the lower level outdoor space into the central lobby. However, there is no direct entry to the features spaces other than the Bridge itself, or to the lobby directly under the centre of the Bridge. The exhibitions within the Bridge are permanent and therefore free. The five featured spaces, which are perpendicularly distributed along different spans of the bridge, form 10 wings. The wings, if not arranged as part of the permanent exhibition, can only be accessed with tickets, which can be mailed to the visitors’ homes, or can be purchased at the lobby reception.
If visitors purchase the tickets in the lobby reception, they are to return to the Bridge spaces above the reception and go to the wings for ticketed exhibitions. Thus, the lobby space acts as a central nexus for circulation distribution.
Material and Structure:
The Bridge is itself of reinforced concrete and steel structure. Its main structure is at the periphery of the Bridge to avoid internal obstruction. The structural system consists of steel members, whose function is not only to support the building itself, but also to provide the support for display platforms for the permanent exhibits, which form three long strips at the edges of the Bridge except where it meets the lower volumes. Additional structural supports are provided at the entrances of the Bridge where the structure meets the ground. Also columns are hidden at the intersections between the Bridge and the lower volumes.
The lower volumes, which are designed to be distinctive in characters and vibes, are to be constructed by different materials and the techniques those materials are most appropriately associated with: timber, brick, concrete, fabric, masonry.