- Aiste Ambrazeviciute
Geographical position and abundance of forests have determined the spread of wood as the main building material of Lithuania in the 20th century. Therefore, Lithuania holds a rich collection of woodenware and reminiscences of wooden architecture with the outstanding ornamentation. Due to industrialization and standardized building products, material’s innate characteristics and inherent heterogeneity remain largely neglected and unexplored.
Assembly lines caused a world made of parts, framing the imagination to think about the objects as assemblies of discrete parts with distinct functions. But there are no homogenous material assemblies in nature. We enter an age of digital fabrication, with compound wood materials allowing for reliable properties and milling technology enabling complete manipulation of solid wood.
The project’s design is based on the complex wood anatomy and material investigation, combining various scales and parts of wood, which enabled to discover new unseen forms out of wood. The goal of the project is to rediscover the wooden architecture and to introduce design parameters proposing an ethnographic environment that speaks truly of its birthplace and the future.
As the intervention site, I chose an open-air ethnographic museum in Lithuania. It displays the heritage of Lithuanian folk life in a vast collection of authentic resurrected wooden buildings. I used the existing museum’s exposition as a reference and intervene with the natural landscape.
Project’s landscape is designed by translating the original 1:1 wood piece to another scale, which allowed to see the intricacy of the material from the different perspective. Scattered architectonic spaces as the Kurhaus, sanatory, 4 season pavilions, recreational paths, and open-air activities are integrated within the landscape.
The architectonic wood-based structure is designed as a combination of various scales and parts of wood with the sanatory program and functions as an artificial forest in the recreational area. The structure is composed out of vessel units merging together into fluid spaces. The function of spaces follow the types and characteristics of wood being used.
Vessel represents a vertical wood cell, where the spaces are created by cell walls dividing the unit. Each vessel represents a combination of various wood scales and parts. Circulation infrastructure is connecting vessels continuously throughout the entire site.
Diverse organic spaces of the vessels have no define borders between the interior and exterior, providing the spatial transparency in a very intricate organism. Interrelating horizontal and vertical elements are providing the new spatial experience.
Forms are nature-based but artificial. Wooden vessel skin is heterogeneous alike in nature, dividing surface to the differentiated fabrication and wood types. Vessel wall details are entirely dependent on the exact relationship with the whole structure of the landscape.
Even that the material is fabricated digitally, it is still a naturally grown biological tissue, which inhabits life forms replicating within it. Some parts of the material, not depending on the type of preservation, are constantly in the process of decay. The project represents the system of an organism with various scales of ingredients.