Architects Đordje Alfirević and Ana Čarapić shared their proposal for the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Serbia. As a response to the site conditions, their design is positioned in the center of a park with a uniformed impact on the surroundings from every direction.
The circular form establishes a gentle dialog with the environment by means of creating an illusion of neutral form that continuously pulls back, yet on the other hand its compact and abstract volume makes a distinctive and strong landmark.
The following is some further information from the architects:
“In the wider context of plains of Vojvodina, the circular form expresses the mimic dialog with the spirit of the place creating the overall image of peaceful ambient. The form navigates visitors to the intimate core of the structure whose form frames a piece of the park as if it was a Museum exibit itself. The ring captures the character of the place and encloses it to create an inner courtyard that serves as the access area to the building as well as the outdoor exibition area. With this simple gesture of creating an inner landscaped void, the Museum building gently gives its way to a park in same way as surrounding landscape is giving its way to a new museum structure.
The detached pavilions of the ground floor level adopt the informal and irregular pattern of the surrounding park, which liberates the main volume from being too centric and introvert. The pavilions and the exhibited open-air sculptures create a dynamic field of fluid spaces that is enclosed and unified by means of a circular walkway and the perimeter of the structure. The panoramic moving walkway runs along the perimeter of the building on the first floor level. It can be used to circulate more rapidly trough display area, or as a promenade offering magnificent panoramic views of the park and the river.
With its fully reflective facade, Museum renounces its physical appearance to favor the surrounding landscape. On the other hand, the rational, uniform and emotionless treatment of the facade makes the museum an artifact that is clearly distinctive from its natural settings.
The museum is horizontally and vertically divided in several sections:
The ground floor is composed of 6 detached pavilions, as a result of the different functions that can exist independently from the exhibition working hours:
- main public entrance with ticket office, wardrobe and guides’ rooms (connected with the level above and below)
- book store with information desk
- personnel entrance (auxiliary exit) with security (connected with the level above and below)
- restaurant (connected with the apartments on the floor below)
- fire proof staircases
- The inner courtyard is a park of sculptures, an open-air exhibition area.
The first floor is mainly a display area (permanent and occasional). In a addition to display area it also contains:
- main lobby with cafe and public toilets
- multifunctional area as an extension of the main hall. This area contains partition walls to enable the independent use, if it is necessary.
- secondary depot and inventory storage room
The basement is divided in several concentric functional zones:
- central area (around the submerged atrium) contains the museum`s administration and research activities (administration, curator’s offices, preserver, publishing, accommodation…) A part of this area is also dedicated to public research space (public library, reading area and auditorium with its additional rooms) connected with the main hall on the ground level.
- depot area with the position that round`s the central zone
- techical block with the garage for the museum`s and public vehicles
The guiding principle for the selection of materials is to achieve an effect of a park and Museum together becoming a piece of art itself, where Museum would be an abstract form to fully reflect surrounding park. Therefore glass has been used to clad the entire exterior of the museum: Clear transparent glass is used for ground floor pavilions, while reflective glass curtain is used to clad the first floor exterior where display area is located. The metallic coating of a reflective glass provides excellent balance between the form (its reflectiveness) and function (its excellent performance in reducing the solar heat and controlling the insulation of the interior).
The variety of glass curtain products ensure that the most suitable selection of a glass curtain type can be made based on specific and accurate requirements of a display area. The structure of the museum is made of reinforced concrete, with slabs on beams supported by the polar grid of columns. Landscape design is a combination of the dominant grass surface and stone pavement with grass strips, as a coherent relation with the existing park.”