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Changing space – CeCuCo

People as an element that directly creates space, modifies it and makes it change over time, this is how studio noa* decided to start prototyping a center for culture and community. A complex exercise, for which noa* questions what form flexibility takes, how nature is integrated into the project and how far the role of the architect can go. CeCuCo, Centre for Culture and Community, is a research project with an ambitious task: the creation of a “non-place” that is able to transform and adapt itself everywhere. The cultural center disrupts every basic architectural paradigm, triggering a reflection that looks far beyond the future. The design decision of noa* was clear from the beginning: to design an architecture that is not indifferent to what happens inside, but a flexible container where the community can decide, do, move.

The project is based in its geometry on an elementary form, the triangle, repeated modularly both in plan and elevation. Working with easily assembled geometries allows the cultural center to expand or contract according to the needs of the context. One of the most unique aspects of the use of the module in the façade is that of its potential metamorphosis. noa* conceives of the elevations as a chessboard: there are certain elements that can be moved, with certain rules and in certain directions, which it is then up to those who experience the architecture to maneuver. To ensure that the space could bring together patrons of different generations and events of various kinds, it was necessary to carry out an accurate research that defined first of all the needs and requirements that could arise.  The natural answer to these questions was the decision to focus on the study of different spaces, capable of satisfying multiple needs, rather than defining the functions that would have to find a place in them. 

Once again, the modularity of the spaces comes into play, created with 6 different plans can be exploited for any type of event in the center. For example, in the small module, there is space for the artist’s studio, the newsstand, the warehouse up to the larger modules designed for theater and cinema. noa* has chosen to use natural materials and an exposed construction system, easy to assemble and dismantle. In the standard package, the façade is characterized by a load-bearing structure in visible wood and an infill wall in clay bricks, alternating with transparent parts, also modular on the geometry of the triangle. The cultural center includes the use of green roofs and pergolas, photovoltaic systems, rainwater harvesting systems, cross-ventilation systems as well as ponds and wooded areas for a temperate microclimate. Noa* therefore creates an architecture that does not crystallize in a single form but is able to mold itself on the morphological and climatic needs of the context and especially on the sociality that takes place within it. 

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Project: CeCuCo, Centre for Culture and Community
Architect: noa* network of architecture
Rendering: Omega Render, noa* network of architecture