Proposal for Sciense and Knowledge Centre in Riga, Daugavgrivas iela

Jevgenijs Busins as Architects

The project of the science and knowledge centre was created as a course work in Riga Technical University. The imaginary construction site of the academic project is Zunda Canal Quay in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The course work brief included development of the multi-functional centre building project, which should combine Science and Technology Museum, educational research centre, library, small research centre and technology centre. The degraded territory of the former industrial area in the city centre was selected as a construction site. The aim of the project was defined as the creation of a new urban activity centre, serving as a social attractor, which could increase the interest in science among all the inhabitants of Riga.

The main idea of the project is to use scientific models to create a scientific space. The shape and geometry of the building is a giant museum exhibit itself. How is this possible? The shape of the building is nothing less than Bianchi-Pinkall Tori. The Bianchi-Pinkall tori is one of the most famous differential surfaces. In mathematics, a minimal surface is a surface with a mean curvature of zero. These include, but are not limited to, surfaces of minimum area subject to various constraints. Differential surfaces, including minimal surfaces, are complex nonlinear surfaces with many unusual properties. For example, these surfaces can create a thin shell structure, and decrease the building materials expenses. Using the differential surface for the formation of scientific space, we find the metaphor - the building of the science museum itself is the embodiment of science.

The Bianchi-Pinkall Tori is extraordinary appropriate for the Science Centre with large exhibitions. The form is a conventional three ring combination, which interpenetrate so that each ring is a continuation of another. Thus, walking through the gallery, a visitor gets a fantastic experience of being in the three spaces simultaneously.

Challenges: This project is one of the first in the world when the whole building is described by a mathematical formula. The shape of the building is a formula of the differential equation.

Social impact: the task of the centre is to provide great opportunities to citizens of Riga in the field of science, knowledge, research, scientific and popular art and education.

Environmental impact: the curvilinear shape of the building merges with the park planned around the centre. The main task in the environmental aspect is to equip degraded former industrial area - through the creation of green space and a centre of knowledge and innovation.

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