A luArtForum is planned as a new gallery building for the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Since the area where the building would be situated has always been empty, it has served as an entrance to the park area of the Academy. The Academy building is situated inside one of Zagreb’s old city blocks. The main idea of the project was to allow as much free pedestrian area as possible on the entrance / ground floor level so that the connection of the Academy and the city would not be disturbed. The connection is then enhanced by encasing the external ground floor area (both walls and ceiling) in a highly reflective material. The form of the entrance area is skewed in order to achieve a reflection effect which allows for the park area to be seen from the street. This way, a virtual extension of the park is formed and the solidity of the building base is lost. The exhibition area is situated within three floors which consist of a closed box with an outer ring. The ring can be used as a communication area as well as an added exhibition area or work space. The idea was to create a space which is simple and can be used in various different ways.
The solidity of the building is also negated on the upper floors in a variety of ways. The buildings outer membrane is made out of horizontally placed wooden planks which allows for the views towards the building to change depending on the viewer’s position. The solid walls / boxes of the exhibition area are moved away from the facade and tilted vertically in relation to each other. The top area of the exhibition boxes is covered with translucent glass which makes it seem as if the boxes are floating on top of each other and are not constructively connected. Furthermore, the gables of the adjacent buildings are also covered with reflective material which gives the illusion of emptiness to the side walls.
PUBLIC SPACE _ enclosed space on the entrance level of the gallery is reduced to a minimum in order to enable a public area that is as large as possible; the area around the entrance serves as a meeting point, a passage and a retention point of users of the gallery and passers-by.
REFLECTIONS _ highly reflective panels allow a continuous visual connection with the interior of the city block in places in which it was impossible before; by creating infinite reflections the solidity of the adjacent buildings and of the entrance is lost, their structure is negated which transforms them into a virtual extension of the park and street
FUNCTIONAL ORGANISATION _ utilitarian spaces are located in the basement of the building and in the vertical core, which is primarily used for communication; grouping the utilitarian spaces allows for more freedom in organizing the exhibition spaces; placement of the work/technical spaces on a separate floor allows for it to be used through a different time regiment than the exhibition spaces.
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL SPACE _ three floors are visually connected by verticals slots; the space is treated as an extended communication area which can be used in a variety of ways (cafe, office space, educational workshops, extended exhibition space, public “living room”,…)
EXHIBITION SPACE _ permanent and temporary exhibitions are placed inside 3 simple volumes which enables for a variety of possibilities in setting up exhibitions as well as using the space for a variety of different uses; the spaces are naturally lighted by translucent surfaces in the walls.
FACADE _ the offset volumes are enveloped in a continuous facade made of horizontally placed wooden planks; depending on the position both inside and outside of the building the view is radically different which additionally visually negates the structural soundness of the building; the horizontal lines are a theme that is connected to the cornice and stucco of the adjacent buildings
and the material used is local wood.