The central circular core is the main distribution element, it is the trunk from which the museum takes shape and develops around. Each floor represents one branch of the tree and the core is the generative element which they stem from. Different offsets from the core perimeter define each floor’s depth and in the same way two lines tangential to the core define the sides. The resulting proportions of the slices obtained by the offsets and the tangential sides are driven by the program needs and area requirements of the overall massing.
The immediate site is the element that defines the orientation of the branches that stem from the core. Each floor, therefore each program, has a specific orientation in accordance with the views surrounding the site whether it is towards the waterspace, the Central Park or the city.
The museum massing is located on the north/east area of the site. The main entrance at ground level holds all visitors facilities and is itself a slice derived from the core in the same way all other floors are. It is oriented towards the south-east promenade, this being the main pedestrian connection to the museum site.
The building is physically detached from the site by a circular water pond created by an offset of the core circle from south/west to north and then merged with the landscape design at north/west. The centrality of the core as a main distribution element and generative organ of the tree system is highlighted by the water pond that isolates the museum from the site. The only connection to the building’s ground level happens at the main entrance through three large bridges.
The floor slice rotations together with the main water blade and the landscape design generate incredible outdoor spaces for museum related activities, learning activities, recreational activities and advertising purposes. All these different rotations of the floors provide interesting outdoor spaces with singular identities and different vocations.
LANDSCAPE : CONCEPT
The central connector is the main element that connects the different areas formed by the generative grid subdivision. The connector takes the visitors through an organic and exciting series of spaces and zones, with alternating hard and soft scapes, water ponds, different green areas, covered areas where students can gather and learn about the museum exhibition, different landscape level with big steps, amphitheater and playful sculptures.The rhythm of the area subdivision reflects the design intent starting at the west perimeter of the site with a series of smaller and more fragmented areas that represent the beginnings of writing. This is an analogy to “proto-writing“, when there wasn’t any words grammatically encoded but a series of graphic symbols that made difficult or impossible to reconstruct the exact meaning intended by the writer unless a great deal of context was already known in advance. Towards the east side the landscape merges with the museum at its heart, the core that represents “true writing” and the writing system developed in an organized and structured organism. It is from this point that the museum design concept starts to flourish as a harmonic continuation of the writing journey.The north perimeter of the site along the Central Street works as a buffer zone with a gentle green soft scape equipped with landscape benches. This raised landscape protects the site from the noise of the eight lane Central Street, allowing users to rest and play safely.
LANDSCAPE : PUBLIC AMPHITHEATER AND FOREST OF COLUMNS
On the north/east corner of the landscape, the second floor massing above covers the water pond and part of the landscape hill from which a series of big semicircular steps follow the water pond perimeter and create a natural amphitheater. The main stage is placed inside the water, submerged and invisible when not in use and then lifted up by a motorized system over the water level when necessary. The first floor of the museum building overhangs over the south square on the south/west side of the site. This cantilever is supported by a “forest of columns”, a playground and a visual filter made by a series of small columns placed 2 meters apart from each other and with a diameter of 20 centimeters each. The rhomboid distribution of the forest of columns derive directly from the landscape design and is delimitated on the west by the connector that runs across the landscape from north/west to south/east, by the landscape hill on the north, and by the pedestrian path surrounding the main water pond on the south. The passage between the forest of columns and the water blades gain an intimate and emotional character to this public space
Externally, the location and footprint of the buildings have allowed for vast open surrounding spaces, with room for expansion for future development. This is used to define different types of public spaces that create an urban quality to the area through streetscapes, a waterfront promenade, urban squares and a new marina and pier. Two main squares are established within the geometry of the existing buildings. The first is a more urban square which relates to everyday urban life where cafes, restaurants and shops spill out to the open space. The second square is situated adjacent to the marina and forms a connection between the central area and the lake. This functions as a more adaptable public space for temporary or seasonal events, festivities and celebrations. In bringing the central area closer towards the lake, a new promenade links the main areas of the town to a marina and waterfront pier. The pier is populated with commercial based pavilions and a public swimming pool, catering for families and holidaymakers. A sailing club provides sporting and leisure activities, giving the town a second identity for being a waterfront hub. This myriad of new functions is essential to establishing Dikemark as an urban centre with a strong presence and opportunity for further growth. An established heart to the overall masterplan will support the surrounding residential areas, workplaces and social infrastructure.