rodrigo mathias

arquitetura | baltic sea art park | abu bakr | nyc vice

baltic sea art park (concurso)
com diogo esteves e gabriel esteves

how to engender with an architectural design an environment that will develop a new cultural
exchange between the baltic countries? how to bring pärnu to the centre of this network?

pärnu is already a well-known health resort with its spas and mud baths. tens of thousands of
tourists come every summer to enjoy its sandy beaches and its rich historical and cultural scene.

the creation of the baltic sea art park by pärnu river, next to the concert hall and close to the
old town is representative of pärnu’s strong relationship with water. the design strategy
assumes this premise and translates it by bringing the water into the city with a symbolic water
mirror that draws an axis from the granite wharf (where the floating national pavilions will moor)
to the heart of the town, by pärnu museum and the concert hall. there, it outlines a public
square, expanding the idea of the art park.

this gesture not only welcomes outsiders but also shows up pärnu to the world. 

the universal hall and other uses are located within a unique, single-storey elongated building
placed transversally to the water mirror, dialoguing with the town’s street grid and scale and
serving as a gateway between land and water. its functions are divided in two wings, one related
to special cultural events (exhibitions, conferences, concerts) and another one to daily leisure
activities with close ties with the park (café, biking, ice skating, swimming).

slightly raised above ground, the building is a longitudinal glass box occasionally protected by a
thin, elegant concrete shell that delineates the accesses and extremities of the building. its
glass façade and roof allows maximum sunlight and heat gain and grants lightness and transparency. 

diagonal paths that point to each one of the baltic countries’ capital cities define the park
itself. they are positioned so that when they meet the water they fix the location where each
floating national pavilion is supposed to moor, indicated by a luminous post. some of them also
penetrate the building, creating inner gardens.

paths are disposed in a way to delimitate green areas and facilitate walking and biking around the
park, connecting to its boundaries and corners and further green areas.

finally, the floating national pavilions are thought as modular, easy-to-configure vessels, allowing
different layouts and uses. based on a flat, ferry boat-like hull, they receive a steel structure of
columns and beams that can be covered in various ways and quickly disassembled for displacement.