Ephemeral Matter

a “Naturum” for the River
authors: Jakub Jílek, Anne Klepal,
Hilde Vinge Fanavoll, Stéphanie Ménard

“Naturum” is a registered trademark concept for a visitors’ centre promoting knowledge and the experience of wildlife in a protected area. In this task, the concept was taken one step further. The location, Rosenlund, has a strategic position in the urban area of the River Göta, right in the city centre, overlooking both the city centre and the river. It is a hub for the ferryboats connecting the city centre to the other side of the river. The site is crossed by multiple flows of travellers – cars, public transport, pedestrians and cyclists creating many conflicts and possibilities.

Everything started with the interest into the reflection and refraction of light. Caustic is the envelope of light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface or a projection of that envelope on another surface. The experimentations aimed to create a water-like caustic effect through investigating the effects of different curvatures and protrusions and depressions in the surface.

The design was driven by blurring the threshold between the city and the river by bringing water metaphorically into the building using the caustics effect. The proposal works with two main volumes, the public and the private part separated by a fully public street-void wrapped into a ETFE curtain wall. The curtain facade merges daylight and matter and redirects light rays into the building. The programs spread on three storeys are given their unique identity by different light effects caused by various geometry of the curtain wall.

location: Rosenlund, Göteborg, Sweden
course: Architectural Competitions
institution: Chalmers University of Technology
tutors: Sten Gromark, Gert Wingårdh
year: 2012