by Jerry ElengicalMar 08, 2023
Theatre as an art form and as an entertainment experience had been around for centuries. The constant evolution of its presentation and the audience’s involvement is one the reasons why it is one of the oldest surviving entertainment models. Its consistent development has resulted in an evolution of the spaces associated with theatre as well. From Roman amphitheatres to the modern-day theatres, the architecture surrounding the art form has come a long way. It has evolved from creating singular arenas to more multifaceted spaces, capable of more than a singular function. The Multifunctional Cultural Center by Kerimov Architects is set to be the newest addition to this constantly evolving architectural typology.
The structure has a sculptural quality to it. Visualised against the natural backdrop of Buenos Aires, the building is in stark contrast to its surroundings. It stands out, but there is nothing viscerally out of place about it. This is not an easy balance to achieve, yet here is a releasable example by the Russia-based designers.
The envelope of the centre is simply complex. What looks like a collection of structures of various shapes and sizes externally, is actually a labyrinth of spaces internally. The volumetric arrangement of the blocks creates multiple movements tracks inside the structure, thus conceiving a multitude of different and interesting ways of traversing from one section to the other. The combination of these different volumes and tracks creates a variety of different atmospheres throughout the structure.
The Multifunctional Cultural Center is designed in quarters, with each quarter serving a specific set of functions. The upper left portion houses a large pavilion with the main stage. The bottom left quarter houses the public face of the centre with the theatre, restaurants, and offices, with the staffing sector, hotel rooms, and an additional pavilion, occupying the diametrically opposite upper right quarter.
The heart of the structure is the cultural centre. Located over two floors—the ground floor and the basement—this pavilion is the functional centre for all public activities. The pavilion is exceedingly transformational and uses high-resolution LED screens as walls around the stage to display life-sized images, thus creating a fully immersive environment for a theatre experience like no other. The images on the walls follow a centrally mounted camera. Intelligent use of new volume technology for visual production enhances the immersive value by changing the depth of field and perspective of lighting. The non-static background and expertly designed lighting solutions create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The access to it is as special as the centre itself. To get there, the patrons need to take a secret passage through a waterfall.
In addition to the main pavilion, there are a total of three smaller pavilions. Each planned a little differently, the pavilions provide ample opportunity for mounting varied productions and creative experimentations.
The almost futuristic envelope of the structure is clearly not superficial. It is merely an echo of the dynamic spatial resolution of the interior spaces supplemented by technology to create a cultural centre like no other.
Estimated to be completed by 2025, the Multifunctional Cultural Center is clearly slated to be a highly interesting and exclusive collection of spaces. The true victory, however, will lie in the execution of this vision.
Name: Multifunctional Cultural Center
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Year of completion: 2025
Architect: Kerimov Architects