Late last year, I came across an entry for the Science Island International design contest, which sought to create a new National Science and Innovation Centre in Kaunas, Lithuania. The entry was put in by Amadi Izuchukwu Magnus in collaboration with Dr. Akube Jideofor.
Originally shared on social media, the design features a function-based circular layout inspired by a combination of forms from the eye of saturn to the human eye itself. Its a bold interpretation of the contest brief as it relies heavily on symbolism in its geometry, but does well not to compromise its function and spatial integrity.
Here’s how they break down their design.
The Science Island Kaunas is conceived as a confluence of the existing island park and the city by fusing Nature, human and Machine (Architecture). The mixture of these 3 important elements (Nature, Human and Machine) which is the main theme of the Proposal flows together in a mutual embrace forming a rich composition of Architectural form overlooking the park and elevated island above the city.
A NEW PUBLIC SPACE
Traditionally the public square in front of town hall has always been the main gathering space for the public in any city. In this new urban context we suggest to elevate the center above the public square with glazed facade on the ground floor housing the important space volumes and creating a new urban space where citizens and visitors can interact with the building and Nemunas Island Park. Inspired by the human eye, the building is positioned in the middle of the site overlooking the entire cityscape. at the ground level, the site is connected via pedestrian bridges. Due to pedestrian path nature of the site, an unbroken access path through the building is critical in ensuring connectivity of movement round the building and site. The site area is 267605.2sqm with parking along the two facing streets on the island together with an underground parking at the zaligiris arena on eastern side of the site, the site round the building is lifted to act as a noise barrier required due to sounds from cars and trucks. We lifted the site to act as a barrier to fight flooding.
The height constraint for the project was given as 25m, but considering the height of surrounding buildings, we decided to lower the height at the east side to 6.3m meeting the human scale and 15.9m at the west side to meet the city scale, allowing for unobstructed view from both North and South side of the Island.
PUBLIC SPACE SHADING
The maximum roof surface is merged with the minimum footprint to create the largest possible shading structure with the smallest possible volume.