National Center of Contemporary Arts (NCCA)
A.Sasnauskas, V.Malenko, Ivane Ksnelashvili, Giedrius Mamavičius, Ieva Saldauskaitė, Joris Šykovas
The concept for the National Center of Contemporary Arts is derived by choosing a “zero form”, a geometric blank screen which is shaped as a monumental black square. The aim is a rediscovering of a pure art form which is cleaned of accumulated things. A building for itself, a meta building. A simple clear shape which is full of content inside. It is not expressing, it is containing.
The surrounding is interpreted as the urban tissue’s amphitheater which serves to focus one’s gaze towards the building’s substance, a concentrated purity, towards the screen as well as towards calmness itself. The building’s lack of active self-expression becomes a physical manifestation. This clear blank wall floats above the incoherent urban context and rises above banality and momentary trends. It has the sense of a desert filled with spirit. Again, it is not an empty black square – it’s a “full void”. Associations and metaphors are joined together for conversation in this building. It represents a data storage drive, a memory containing device to house new Russian modern art.
The inside of the building is a three-dimensional field in which all kinds of matter exists. The building is constructed from a thin rectangular volume serving to connect (both physically and visually) several additional volumes adjoined to it. These volumes function as exhibition spaces, auditoriums, offices, recreational areas etc. On the inside, the “zero form” building is actually full of functional objects floating in space.
The connecting volume is filled with mutually open elements: staircases, elevators and escalators by which one can reach the adjoined volumes where the main functions of the art center are located. A new concept of exploring and experiencing art is introduced through movement. The programmatic spine is organized vertically and visitors’ movement through the building happens in a continuous loop that offers various ways to engage with the art or to participate in other activities. In the connecting volume, the spaces which are unoccupied by the connecting elements serve as areas for rest, overlooking the functional volumes as well as panoramas of the city.This new dynamic cultural institution offers a new type of spatial organization, which could be used in many different ways, as a platform for experimentation.
The multifunctional Center is constructed of steel, an efficient, cost-effective structural material.
The facade facing the park is like transparent skin so that at night the building’s structural elements appear enlightened on the screen. Alternatively various images could be projected on it for the purposes of multimedia art.
The new NCCA grows out of a small footprint on the plot and becomes a decisive landmark of contemporary culture, a void in which art can happen.