Lemniscatus / Kevin Pasewalk / USA, Denver

Lemniscatus / Kevin Pasewalk

The basic idea, concept of the project:

Proposal Objectives

  • Adds to the cultural richness and artistic beauty of the historical city
  • Provides a facility that will be part of the city landscape for hundreds of years, adding contrast to the current composition of the city while enhancing the significance of the area by adding complexity and beauty.
  • Serves as host to protect and celebrate the history and culture of Yaroslavl
  • Emphasize the importance of maintaining UNESCO World heritage status
  • Integrates modern architecture focused on quality and cultural significance

Lemniscatus / Kevin Pasewalk / 2

History and culture rely on a cohesive harmonious relationship. History informs and shapes the culture of a society and in turn that culture defines history with the passage of time. History and culture coexist and become significant through the success of this relationship. To create architecture that is successfully integrated into a historical context the same type of relationship is required between architecture and its contextual environment. It is the quality of this relationship between old and new that is critical, not the architectural language per se. 

Lēmniscātus is designed as a submissive form amongst surrounding historical master works. The organic forms of the roof and glazing structures enhance the gentle and fluid landscape. It adds new layers to the fabric of the city while providing an iconic structure through contrasting the existing historic character. Lēmniscātus celebrates the special character and quality of the historic environment that communities have recognized as important and wish to conserve for future generations.

Lemniscatus / Kevin Pasewalk / 3

Short description:  

The project is aligned on the longitudinal axis of the site. The existing side walls of the ravine have been re-graded to form a terraced park surrounding the facility. Over half of the site has been reserved as green space and the east end of the site transitions into a natural amphitheater to accommodate outdoor festivals and fairs. The terraced park allows the majority of the site to be utilized as green space for the nearby inhabitants and visitors. The primary entrances are located at the north and south sides at the building center. The building is divided into two sections, the Main Gallery on the west and Open Exhibition space on the east. The Main Gallery consists of three floors providing varying levels of day lighting and maximizing flexibility for the display of any type of art or artifact. All levels are connecting by ramps on the north and south sides of the space. The Lower Level and First Level are also connected by a central grand stair. The grand stairs are gradual with large landings providing opportunities for a more dynamic display sections. The First level and Balcony Levels are constructed as cantilevered platforms to maintain an open gallery space that provides visual connections to exhibits spaces from all levels.

Lemniscatus / Kevin Pasewalk / 4

The Open Exhibition space on the eastside has an open lower section to maximize its capacity to accommodate a diverse range of events. The upper platform is accessed by vertical lifts at the east end of the support structure. This platform offers a unique open viewing deck that is visually connected to all areas of the building. The upper deck provides a connection from the building interior to the exterior amphitheater creating a more dynamic potential for the use of the space.

Technical features of the object: 

The roof structure utilizes three primary systems. The opaque ribbon roof structure utilizes a tensile steel frame inlaid with insulated stainless steel panels. The Primary structural members span the longitudinal axis of the roof and are cross braces between panels to create a fluid tensile grid structure. There are four sections of roof glazing that tie into the ribbon roof. These structures are organized on a rhomboidal grid that mimics the diamond shaped patterns found on the domes of the surrounding cathedrals. The tensile structures are bound fibre reinforced concrete structure with a cobblestone finish. The cobblestone roofs invite visitors to explore and interact with the structure and inspire curiosity of the contents and activities within. The footprint of the building is dropped one story below the existing grade, as the walls required for retaining transition above grade, semitransparent stone panels clad the exterior walls allowing glimpses of light into the building during the day and to the exterior at night. The interior cantilevered platforms will be constructed from glass fibre reinforced concrete to accommodate strong fluid pedestal forms and thinner platforms, to help achieve the open design for the gallery and exhibition spaces.

Author’s notes:  

The name of the project Lēmniscātus serves to define the main themes of the building form. The first definition is taken directly from the Latin translation, “decorated with ribbons”. The ribbon like forms of the primary roof structure are meant to symbolize the cultural fabric of the city made up of the people and ideas of a modern culture. The forms add complex layers to the building in a manner that contrast but does not compete with the nearby historical structures. The second definition of Lēmniscātus is its derivative lemniscate which in algebraic geometry is a figure eight curves more commonly known as infinity. The figure eight is distinguishable in the building plan and represents an element of everlasting time in relation to history. History lives on from generation to generation through the people of a culture. This museum communicates its purpose through formal gestures indicative of culture and history.

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