- Name: Kalana Weerasinghe
- Year: 2016
- Studio: Level III
- University: University of Moratuwa
Music and Art are the strongest forms of language that allows expression or application of creative skill and imagination. Its diversity and universality initiates communication and interaction but is also a source of isolation. A society consist of varying personalities but each one associates these universal languages in their day to day lives. Hence the need for a Music and Art Center where anyone can experience all forms of Art in one place.
The idea of Music and Art allowing interaction, is adopted as a concept for the project where it caters to Artists, Students and also to the general public. The site is located abiding the Bolgoda Lake with public nodes in close proximity, thus the project focuses on linking the nodes and the natural landscape. This is achieved by a pathway created amidst the mass of the building, where public is directed into the premises allowing them to experience the essence of art. The building form consist of two blocks, placed angularly, forming a funneled entrance creating suspense, where the user is suddenly introduced to a wider view of the surrounding and the hustle altogether with the central area being an open space. This feature allows one to perceive the composition of spatial volumes and also forces one to experience the space rather than simply walking through. The pre-eminent space generally acts as a reference point where a user can easily relate to secondary spaces.
Art forms are generally expressive and tends to free one’s mind, and is always a part of nature thus an open air theatre is in cooperated between the two wings of the building. This central space is the main element of the design, and the objective is to allow everyone to equally experience the activities, rather than conducting events in isolation, in an enclosed room. The public pathways lie on either side of the theatre space; which is at a lower level, therefore one will physically, visually and acoustically be in connection with ongoing performances essentially spreading awareness of varying functions. The theatre will also serve as a multi-functional platform where artists can practice music, share their knowledge with the novice whilst general crowd leisurely blends in just to gain experience and entertainment, facing the water source that adds to the serenity of the environment. A circular cascade of steps are embedded in the landscape complementing the theatre area which contributes in dissolving the rigidity of the structure.
The complex is placed at a generous setback from the edge of water with its built landscape merging with the natural terrain. The prevailing water body becomes a part of design with the wooden deck that connects to the proposed jogging track over the water emphasizing social activities and connections providing opportunity to admire the beauty of the lake, also visually acts as a backdrop for performances or other activities.
The two wings house a gallery or exhibition space, studio spaces and other ancillary spaces overlooking the central space, which visually interconnects the primary and secondary nucleated spaces allowing more social interaction. Solidity of the structure is reduced with the use of pivoted wooden windows along lengthy façade on either sides, thus allowing flexibility in utilizing the building itself for any performance and also in developing connections with the environment so that occupants of the studios and gallery space would be at ease.
The spacial hierarchy of the design addresses public, semi public and private spaces at different levels that are vertically zoned, public is generally allowed to access the perimeter of the ground floor area, theatre space and landscape. Theatre space at center would mostly accommodate performances therefore public is deliberately directed at a slightly higher level along the sides so that its prime function is not disturbed. Convertible gallery spaces in the next level are designed to cater all forms of art and activities. Artists and students being a selective user group is provided with much privacy, hence studio spaces are placed in the final level but public is not denied access throughout the complex, since the intention is to provide a center for trained artists/students and to anyone who is emotionally attached to the subject to experience and endeavor it.
The spacial progression and diversity achieved within the design qualifies to result a social hotspot whilst providing an establishment for professionals and novice to train themselves, interact and gain knowledge.