OCEAN Design Research Association

Jyväskylä Music and Art Centre, 2004-2005

Projet de Michael Hensel et Achim Menges

Designed in 1997 for a competition held by the city of Jyväskylä, Finland, the Jyväskylä Music and Arts Center project led to a second phase of research commissioned by the Italian Pavilion of the 2004 Venice Biennale, followed by a later third and final phase. OCEAN’s architectural proposal integrates the cultural and physical characteristics of the site’s context by means of an iterative principle of morphogenesis to answer the requirements of the program. The building is divided from top to bottom into three systems of crossbeams generated in succession and designed to meet a set of constraints, which go far beyond their structural performance. The trellis structure offers a range of acoustical responses extending throughout the internal soundscape while filtering light in accordance with the season. The spacing between the crossbeams can be modulated to provide more shade in summer while still allowing in the weaker winter light. They also serve to organize the interior spaces, enabling the creation of podiums, stages, stands for spectators and additional exhibition spaces for hosting a broad range of informal events held in summer in the city’s streets and parks. The orientation, density and layers of the trellises, the undulating movement of the surfaces and volumes resulting from interconnected surfaces give the impression of a vast seemingly limitless space. To integrate the building in its urban environment, which is particularly marked by Alvar Aalto’s modern architecture, a light-sensitive skin in the shape of a parallelepiped contrasts with the exuberance of the interior and covers the entire structure. This skin, which is reflective when natural light is more intense, becomes translucent when the intensity of the light weakens, thus, the building’s appearance is constantly changing.

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