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Designing Spaces within Spaces: Articulating the Interaction

Posted by
on August 13, 2018 at 03:03 PM

© Courtesy of internet resources

At a certain level, all of interior architecture is about designing spaces within spaces. But, most of this is about creating something totally new on the given canvas, about transforming the given/ available space in the entirety of its body and spirit to accommodate the new programme, to put up a fresh decor. Only sometimes, interiors need to be created such that while catering wholeheartedly to the new design program in terms of function and aesthetics, the internal décor simultaneously and equivocally maintains a mutually enhancing interaction with the shell that houses it. Here are two examples of such interior design projects where the décor impartially shoulders the twin responsibilities of assimilating the old while incubating the new within the same space.

Thailand Creative and Design Centre, Bangkok

Occupying two wings of the historical Grand Postal building in Bangkok, TCDC is the Thai Government’s initiative to encourage and nurture the country’s creative economy. It is a space which provides a range of material and service resources for people to explore and experiment with, to create new alternatives and solutions in terms of materials, machines or systems for existing problems and issues. While the very initiative by the government is highly commendable, its beautiful execution by the state run Department of Architecture is even more noteworthy.

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

Translucent panels held in place by an intense web of subtle steel frames are the main protagonist used in this design which helps juxtapose the purpose of the space clearly between the ever visible solidity of the enveloping heritage structure and the enticing possibilities shown off by and through the new one within it. As these panel inserts weave through the area, they create shelving for books and materials and display racks for finished creations. They accommodate reading tables, work tables and envelope individual and group areas. They secure within themselves a contemporary field of possibilities while simultaneously revealing beyond them the historical walls, the limitless looking ceiling, never-ending passages leading to different exciting areas, the quaint green and open terrace.

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

One may enter the TCDC through a solid stone masonry entranceway tucked into a side of the old building and simply proceed to lose oneself in the several avenues of possibilities that open out in the translucent maze within – a maze where one doesn’t get lost but finds innumerable ways instead. ‘A creative space is not ‘creative’ because of how it looks but it is a place that inspires..... a place that would allow for the new and the unknown events to happen, a reprogrammable space’ say the designers. The stacking of books and materials is done in a way that ensures maximum access from every point in the space, the products are also displayed in centred islands, corner turns, passageways, etc. that make them impossible to miss. The facility is treated in a café-like ambience which fosters a friendly, chatty vibe among the users, encouraging them to discuss and brainstorm. 

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

Even the look of the TCDC exterior - a solid black box – neither dominates nor is subservient to its older heritage context. While, within the building ‘the present-day material in its light, translucent, blurring, and glowing quality is having a dialogue with the massive character of the historical shell.  The new and the old are interestingly contrasting, enhancing and complementing one another.’

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

Science Museum Pavilions, Valencia

Housed inside the Prince Felipe Museum located at the City of Arts and Science at Valencia are the new pavilions for temporary displays of valuable and exposure-sensitive objects. While the imposing structure of the museum itself with its intricate network of white concrete fins and vaults is designed by the famous Santiago Calatrava, this interior addition of pavilions is created by the Valencia team of Murad-Garcia Estudio.

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

Calatrava’s building is visually dominating, to say the least, with its dramatic white dinosaur-skeleton-like form almost stealing away the show from the displays inside. Even the interior vaulting with accent lighting is a treat to the eyes. In addition, the impressive tall windows are trained towards views of the waterbody in the Garden of Turia in the foreground and the city of Valencia in the background. All this creates a considerably formidable context for an interior to stamp its own impression. 

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

Murad-Garcia Estudio has chosen natural finish steel sheets, backlit through patterned perforations to colourize and enhance the hi-tech look, to form encasements for the exhibits. These colourfully lit up steel chests don’t just provide the ideal envelope for the stringent controls over temperature, humidity, lighting, video surveillance and security required to safeguard the valuable displays inside. They also hold a meaningful interaction with the surrounding visuals of distinguished white concrete vaults while holding their own through the stark contrast.

© Courtesy of internet resources

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