Grand Prix of the 36th Salon of Architecture 2014
Milan Djuric, Aleksandru Vuja and Milka Gnjato
The space of architecture is a space with a potential for piling up the conflicts because architecture is the space where human ideal becomes tangible, the system visible and the sensation imposed. This is not a special problem when it comes to other functions of architecture, but when it comes to designing a kindergarten, then problems increase because there are several levels of expectation, i.e. several levels of meaning. The design of kindergarten is perhaps the only place of architecture in which there is no imperative for the representation (of the building) in which any sense of architecture ends, while the focus is shifted into the space of imagination of its beneficiaries (children).
Regardless of which of the two prevailing approaches to kindergarten design is used: techno-functionalist, structural-systemic (Apollonian) or narrative, intuitive (Dionysian) approach, the architect can easily be fettered with chains of the expected, implied sentiment for a child and ideal of childhood.
The consequence of such expectations include a series of challenges. The architect faces the request for conceiving, creating the spaces which would be a safe framework and which would simultaneously stimulate child’s imagination. The architect’s perception of spatial potential for child’s imagination necessarily leads to the deterritorialization, in its the most profound sense, not only in spatial maps of society, but also, what is much more important – the most powerful lines between spaces are those drawn in the experience-linked sphere, they are the most radical phantasmatic extractions.
„ ….there is no such thing as architecture for children”.
In a subsequent analysis of the specific case of a kindergarten in Block 67 in New Belgrade, what was at first an intuitive reaction to residential environment at the end turned out to be the confirmation of correctness of the attitude with an additional possibility for further analysis. Namely, „turning the back“ on the road and creating the space inside a circle was an intuitive reaction to residential environment (immediate vicinity of very wide roads with high traffic intensity). Still, the circle is not closed, the system is not introvert.
Summarizing the intuitive reaction to the given space and analysis led by the idea of sufficiency of problem solving in a key of understanding the Argo ship, the Dionysian and Apollonian approaches were reconciled in a strange way. The fact that the building is a synthesis, in terms of form, of three rudimentary geometrical shapes: circle (symbol of infinity), triangle (symbol of aspirations) and rectangle (symbol of integrity), at the end the design process turned out to be an additional possibility of considering it, not as important in terms of value as simply interesting. In the opinion of one of the first philosophers of education, Friedrich Froeöbel, kids should master these three basic shapes before they would be let to explore the outside world. This is the only place where it is possible to read the inscribed, still not narrative, meaning.
Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Pop Up space, The Republic Square 5
Friday, 30 May 2014
Presentation of the winners of Grand Prix of 36th Salon of Architecture 2014