Theory / It is time to think about what ethical architecture can be in the 21st century – we are facing serious global challenges from climate change to the increased consumption of the world, the way we create and use the built environment has room for improvement, not only from an energetical standpoint. The E. Lévinas Centre of Philosophy needs to be a lot to show an example: it has to be a mean to strengthen the fabric of culture and freedom of thought, also be widely accessible and inviting, in a harmony with its existing surroundings – both man-made and natural. It has to provide the space for deep thinking and accumulated knowledge, which are scarce resources these days. It also has to be constructed in a way, where further utilisation is possible, if the function would outgrow this place.
Context / The placement and massing of the philosophy centre is inspired by the proximal cityscape: the house sits in an axial position to A. Mickeviciaus street (~St. Michael the Archangel’s Church to Laisvés aisle), the public spaces are distinctively separated from the more private parts of the building even on the facade with the huge glazed openings opposed to the repetitive and mysterious white shading and cladding system. The “skirt” also has presence in the neighbouring streets like the former building of School of Economics and Business (KTU) on Laisvés street or the M. Zilinskas Art Gallery. The building is strenghtening the existing spatial relations: it fills the gap in the existing streetline, which also gave the opportunity to have more room towards the hill and to cut the least amount of vegetation during construction. The funicular’s entry and the philosophy centre’s entrance can be accessed on the same route, this way everyone can appreciate a wider range of experiences.
You can find the submitted images below.
The design of the Centre of Philosophy was continued in detail, 1:50 construction documentation was submitted at the end. The plans were augmented with research in the use of Building Information Modelling technologies in engineering purposes. Current cutting edge solutions are either focusing on information management or very specialized in a narrow field, passing building-related data is not straightforward without data loss. To illustrate roadblock and possibilities, I determined the glazing properties of the windows in south facing library in the building with building simulation, while tracking the embedded data.