CONCRETE IDEOGORA

Newcastle BA Graduation Project - Distinction

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Culture Exchange Centre This project explores the description of concrete as a ‘medium’. It is a global medium which attempts to create local identity and acts as a photographic negative to capture the traces of formwork. My ‘touch stone’ which displayed the imprint of  bamboo and Newcastle’s figure ground, give two local images on two sides of this global medium. This becomes a metaphor for the project’s program of an ‘Ideagora’. A Cultural Exchange Centre at the gate of Newcastle will contribute to solve recent immigration problems, foster encounters and understanding between different ethnic groups in Newcastle. The centre, with an ‘Exchange hall’ at its heart, uses cultural elements such as language, art, dance, music and food to create a common platform which helps reduce conflict and create a more unified society. The design arose from the simple architectural principle of responding to the context. Three distinctive volumes were proposed which responded to the three different contexts interwoven in the site. The top volume tried to respond to the cityscape and could be seen from the Tyne Bridge. This part of the building provided a panoramic view of the city. The middle volume followed the street-scape, carefully considering heights and facades. The bottom volume responded to the underground system in the site, connecting with the subways. The three volumes were then interconnected via a continuous circulation area, a spiral from bottom to the top, and the ‘Exchange Hall’ The building become a continuos route, not just only inside but also link all the disconnected route due to level differences in the site

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