Yaroslavl Panorama

Yaroslavl Panorama / Gonzalo Samaniego / Spain, Madrid

Yaroslavl Panorama / Gonzalo Samaniego


The location of the Yuniy Spartakovets has a privileged panoramic view of some of the most important churches in Yaroslavl. Its location in the very center of Yaroslavl means that the surrounding architecture is also visually attractive and of architectural and cultural significance.

The presence of this cultural heritage has shaped the concept of the design as a panoramic gallery that is used to showcase works of art, as well as the architecture around it. The building serves as a uninterrupted gallery where the visitor can walk and alternate between seeing the works of art exposed or seeing the buildings around without interruptions, and guarded from the elements, just as the visitor of a safari that watches the animals from his car.

Yaroslavl Panorama / Gonzalo Samaniego / 2


In order to create a panoramic path around the location and a semi-separate exhibition path, there are two floors at different levels. The upper floor (the panoramic path) is sloped at various angles (see sections and floor plan), following the slope of the terrain. The main exhibition path retains its level through most of the length of the gallery, with the exception of a slope that puts it at the same height as the panorama (making room for the entrance to the square underneath). These slopes ensure that the spectator is always at the same height in relation to the ground, to hold the same perspective of the Pochtovaya street. These slopes also ensure that the height of the building never goes over the 2,00 metres allowed. A lengthwise staircase joins both levels together while providing with an architectural separation. 

While the U-shape fulfills the concept and a minimum need for exhibition space, it provides little spacial variety for different events and forces the visitor to walk the entire length from beginning to end without allowing him to choose a different path or activity. In order to improve the flow of people and the flexibility of the building, an extra space is added from the hall; a trapezoidal gallery similar to the main panoramic gallery, which ends near its own entrance. This gallery can be closed from the main gallery or opened, and as such, it can be used as a private or separate exhibition or event, as well as as another part of the main exhibition.

This extra gallery can also be joined or separated from the shortcut joining both sides of the U-shaped main gallery. This shortcut presents an alternative to the main panoramic gallery and connects the three main spaces of the building together.

Structurally, the building is supported by a laminated wood structure, which is light to transport and can be easily produced in large numbers. The gallery is divided in spans of an average of 12m, with each wooden constructive element placed transversely along the gallery. This structure supports both floors (panorama and main exhibition) and the roof. Each element serves both as columns and beams. Its shape permits the beam to distribute the weight of the roof evenly to the columns, allowing the beam to remain as thin as possible. The distance between each constructive element is covered by means of primary, secondary and tertiary beams. The primary beams run parallel to eachother in between each main element (see constructive plan). The secondary and tertiary beams run in a triangulated manner in between the primary beams. This creates a mesh of supportive elements that allow the insulated translucent roof to lay on a relatively transparent structure without having to span a long distance.

The insulated roof supports the natural panoramic view by not blocking daylight, but merely filtering it. This roof was chosen to avoid having a completely sunblocking roof that could damage the panoramic experience. By using this roof system there is fileterd daylight inside the building, reducing the sensation to be inside an enclosed structure. Another important aspect of the filtered daylight is that it cannot damage artworks sensitive to direct light, such as old paintings. The roof and structure filter daylight sufficiently so that there is enough light during the day to enjoy artworks.

Part of the space taken by the building is given back to the city by means of three interconnected squares that run along and under the building. The first square serves as a pre-reception area for the entrance to the gallery. Two stes of staircases provide a direction to the passageway into the second square, with a direct passage into the third and largest square, compeltely surrounded by the bottom of the U-gallery except for the exit under the building.

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