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Mediatheque Centre Paris

Part 1 Project 2002
Dean Pike
John Everett
University of Portsmouth, UK
I have an affliction the symptoms become apparent at the dinner table. It usually starts with a compulsion to reorganize the view of the scene in front of me. To fractionally nudge a wine glass so that it overlaps another to make a more satisfying juxtaposition. My work is predominantly concerned with composition. Invented scenarios

I always start with a model, an exploration of site and context. I like to see the effect that placing one object may have over another hierarchical composition. My final degree project unit 303*, an urban infill within the dense fabric of Paris, is based upon the notion of an Urban Dam. An 8m thickness concrete structured wall which retains the south + allows 003 elements to penetrate the public space north. An enclosed/wrapped situation. The dam is like a vertical archive which contains digital information above, an exhibition space below and a bar / restaurant on the top that animate the parti wall. This provides strength for the 3 elements that emanate north, which are as follows:

01_Mediathque. An elongated volume that floats to accentuate the perception of weightlessness. -Gravity defiance that gives it attitude to the approaching human. This element contains 2no.80 capacity auditoria that step down ?1.2m and open out to the public performance, east. Meanwhile, the traveling masses gather on the steps and slope, north and south, and await the dancing figures that will embrace/entertain them.
THE RED VELVET CURTAIN INDICATES THEATRE!And so the public performance space becomes a normative backdrop against which the domestic and civic life of the city is played out!

The crèche is situated on top of this building, a small glass pavilion that respects the material composition of the main façade. It is light and sensitive and also provides secure outdoor space (a roof garden) for the children to play.

02_Digital letterbox. A small cantilever, essentially a viewing perch to the public performance space below, provides a conversation between the dam, parti wall and church. A concept that would potentially end the conflict between them. The roof terrace on top provides secure outdoor space for inspiration.

03_Housing. An inter-locking concept. Seven different shaped pre-fabricated units provide variety in unity. There are 45 flats on 5 levels and 3 service cores. This approximates to 15 flats per service core. Each flat has a terrace and an east-west aspect. The entire structure is composed of a black concrete frame on a 2.4m module, a traditional modernist system of frame and skin construction, as inspired by many Zumthor paradigms. A series of sliding screens express horizontality in the façade. Consequently, the elevation is in constant flux and so the architecture becomes a representation of its users.

The ground floor contains cafes, bars, shops, workshops and a launderette. This brings with it, business and encourages public interaction. A contextual response that gives public space back to the community and adopts the Parisian ?mixed use? housing typography.

Dean Pike
John Everett

The project called for the design of complex mixed use building in strong urban setting. The scheme demonstrated the manner in which a city context informed the architectural proposition and the strong symbiotic relationship of built form and urban context. Emphasis was placed on the quality of the external environment with part of the brief to design an open space that related to the urban intervention, and particular importance made of the integration of semi-public spaces within the scheme.

In particular:
Dean's project not only addressed these issues but also engaged in the matter of the repetition of similar dwelling units in manner that allowed for individuality and expression through a game of locking units together. The scheme is remarkable in that it engaged both the detailed design through to the urban scale with a consistent and integrated design approach.

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