BUILDING ON THE CORNER
Graduation project, 2013
mentor Petar Miškovic
In her book, Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs writes that it is about a laboratory of trial and error, success and failure in city building and in this laboratory city planners must form and test their theories. On the very edge of Trešnjevka and Lower city area exists a corner, framed by four streets, one of the cities most frequented tramlines and a railway highline, illustrating with some accuracy the point made by Jacobs.
The corner of Tratinska and Andrašec street is the severely unarticulated and thus was made the prime interest of the project, since both streets, each in its own way are extraordinary city potentials.
The Department for media arts (part of the Academy of Arts) is the sole occupant of the corner building. The art gallery in the underground level is the only section of the building with autonomy outside the principal programme, although together they are charged to be the cultural and social impulse intended to revitalize the neighbourhood.
The site itself is an elongated triangle, which becomes a public square in its entirety since the building is ‘suspended’ above it. This maximizes the square, defines the entrance area and creates a tension between the exterior and interior that serves the extroverted nature of the resident programme and the ambition that its energy should emanate.
The second floor is regarded as a ‘sky lobby’, which is accessed primarily by the double story escalator from the square. From this level one can enter two lecture halls by descending the smaller stairways. The third and fourth levels are studios for students, lecture areas, and a teacher’s lounge. Fifth level is a bar with a large terrace, while the top floor is a double height eerie like research room.
The concrete core along the western elevation hosts the main continuous stairway, lift, restroom facilities and the vertical installations. The steel skeleton consists of a primary tower structure and secondary frames. Tower columns sit on the massive concrete beams, which intersect and define the underground space, as the foundation of the building both in tectonic and conceptual terms.