Located in the heart of Kipsala (or Kip Island) in Latvia, the Riga International Exhibition Center is one of the largest of its kind in the northern region of Eastern Europe, and the Center recently announced plans to integrate a new type of structure in its already well-established multi-structure complex. Enter the Bee Breeders' ideas competition, Kip Island Auditorium, which challenged participants to propose well-considered alternative concepts that avoided the typical sprawling, multi-block designs of the convention center typology.
Out of a wide range of responses from around the globe, the entries with the most compelling arguments ultimately won the jury's favor. The competition concluded with three prize winners and six honorable mentions. The Riga Convention Center will consider all winning designs for the development of the new building, and will display the winning submissions this spring.
Scroll down for a look at the top-prize entries.
1ST PRIZE: “The Urban Lighthouse” by Michele Busiri-Vici, Clementina Ruggieri, Matteo Biasiolo, Pino Pavese of Space4Architecture | United States
Jury commentary: “The first place entry for the Kip Island Auditorium was chosen for its proposal to completely entangle city and stage, creating a performance space radically deconstructing the separation between proscenium and audience. The project centerpiece is an elevated theatre space, cantilevered as a truss over the site, creating an iconic figure in the city. Inside this truss, the linear sequence of auditorium spaces is interconnected by a series of panels that can either separate each stage for simultaneous performances or open up and interconnect, forming a monumental stage that transfigures the nature of performance.
The skin reinforces this programmatic gesture and tectonic diagram. Double layers of mesh establish the project’s powerful ambiguity between interior and figure - both exterior form and internal volume assert themselves as equal components of the project’s expression and identity. The iconicity of the auditorium lies in this opposition between object and performance, creating a project in which the archetype of the stage is activated into an entirely new model for spectacle and spectatorship.”
2ND PRIZE + Bee Breeders Student Award and Green Award: Kip Island Auditorium by Deyan Saev, Panayiotis Hadjisergis of Technical University Delft | The Netherlands
Jury commentary: “The success of the second place entry for the Kip Island Auditorium competition lies in its simple solution to the existing conditions, using an economy of form and material to create a flexible building characterized by tactful iconicity. The project parti stitches the site, unifying the shed buildings of the exhibition centre, by infilling the triangular space between with a repeating, extruded sawtooth bay. Within this triangular massing, the project contains a large, non-hierarchical, and reconfigurable space, allowing for multiple auditoria and conference spaces while maintaining fluid connections to the existing buildings on the site.
The project provides an expansive new public façade: a serrated wall, functioning as a sieve that filters visitors into the inner world of the aggregated and vast exhibition centre. Additionally, the structure and detailing of the project is tectonically thoughtful and ecologically considerate, deploying a repeated post and beam module of engineered wood with steel cable and polycarbonate infill to provide natural, indirect light. Combined, this kit-of-parts produces a subdued iconicity, evoking the industrial nature of the existing buildings and imposing order on a site characterized by an accumulation of disparate conditions.”
3RD PRIZE: “Agir” by Moisés Royo, Carlos Orbea, Gonzalo García-Robledo, Cristina Martín Consuegra | Spain
Jury commentary: “The strength of the third place entry arises from its urban engagement and social inclusion. The project takes a stance on the nature of large exhibition centers, making a case for the public. Expo and convention center typologies, due to their scale often create a barrier within the city, isolating the pedestrian rather than including. The siting of the third place entry adeptly uses the scale of the project to engage the public through a strategy of solid/void in lieu of the typologically conventional solid. Rather than attach to the existing exhibition center, the auditoria stretch the perimeter of the site, creating both a boundary and filter to a new public plaza. The plaza, filled with a series of trees, becomes the stitch between new and old allowing each structure to stand on its' own.
The project keenly makes use of section to engage pedestrians in the program of the building by elevating and exposing the underside of each auditorium space. The undulating underside becomes a filtered threshold to the public plaza beyond. By elevating the auditoria, the project takes advantage of the exhibition center's sitting on Kip Island, gaining 360 degree views of the city. Arranged linearly, the auditoria create a new public promenade where visitors participate in each performance as they pass by. The promenade culminates in an open room overlooking the plaza and city beyond, engaging the visitor directly with the public.”
You can find more about the prize winners and the honorable mention entries here.
All images and quoted text courtesy of Bee Breeders.
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