We are opting for a Science Centre, detached from the ground and positioned above Nemunas Island Channel. The Science Center will hover between island and city creating an unexpected outdoor space to be experienced from the island´s waterside as well as from the city´s embankment.
Bridging the gap between city + island, the Science Centre has available 2 opposed qualities, on the one hand the infrastructural capacity of Karaliaus Mindaugo Prospect, on the other hand the vast green of Nemunas Island. Karaliaus Mindaugo Prospect offers firstly, a potent back of house access for all deliveries, secondly, a direct approach by Bus, Taxi, Car including access for disabled and thirdly, parking for employees + visitors. Consequently, Nemunas Island is liberated from infrastructural requirements + ready for becoming a true green island.
Given a size GIA of 9000m2 the building´s footprint is absolutely minimal on Nemunas Island. It consists of 2 columns, an elevator, an escalator + a stair, all together less than 50m2.
As a consequence, the entire site is accessible. Buildings do not block movement. A multitude of different vegetations, exotic + local plants, waterlines + jogging paths will occupy the island, matching perfectly with the Science Centers outdoor activities.
The building´s entry point will be sheltered by the floating building. It will dock onto a network of converging pathways bringing visitors from the city + the island. The building will be gate + portico to city + island alike.
There are 2 major references. The first is the history of visionary flying + floating buildings, started by Georgy Krutikov, Lina Bo Bardi, Constant or Cedric Price. The second refers to “Piliakalnis” the castle mounts, a historical + local means of forming the terrain on which to position important buildings such as castles. The project plays with the image of “Piliakalnis”, however no castle is constructed on top, the empty mount is rather a base to look at the panorama of Kaunas.
Exterior surfaces are opaque or of filter like character. A special role is given to the underside of the center, it will have mirroring qualities. Together with the water plane it constitutes a double mirror, one natural, the other constructed, able to reflect all the movement on the ground as well as the visitor who by entering the center is penetrating the reflections of the earth´s surface.