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CECUCO - The Newest Project from noa*
December 27, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Sidhanth Thomas
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As Part of the Press Release: For an ambitious research project - the prototyping of a Centre for Culture and Community - noa* questions what form flexibility takes, how nature can be embedded in the project, and how far the role of the architect goes, in the belief that a project only works when people make it their own.

About the Project

"CeCuCo, Centre for Culture and Community, is a research project with an ambitious task: the design of a cultural center without a fixed context, capable of transforming itself to adapt to anyone and anywhere."

This is noa*'s vision of a multifunctional space, translated into a sustainable model which is versatile for all situations. Among the infinite design possibilities, it was clear from the very beginning which direction to take: to design an architecture that is not indifferent to what happens inside it, flexible space in which the community can decide, act, and makes her moves.

The geometry of the project is based on an elementary form, the triangle, repeated modularly in both plan and elevation. In the first case, the triangular module is inscribed in a 3x3 m square, in the second in 3x1.5 m. Working with geometries easy to assemble allows the cultural center to expand or contract according to the needs of the context. In addition, on an urban planning level, the triangles can combine in many types of shapes, resulting in different space typologies like the slab, the courtyard, or the punctiform village.

Using the module in the façade opens up to a variety of configurations, creating a kind of façade metamorphosis. noa* imagines the elevations as a chessboard: some elements can be moved, with certain rules and in certain directions, which it is then up to the people who experience the architecture to control. Doors can be moved, fanned out, turned on their hinges, lowered, raised, ajar... and the same goes for windows. A wide range of possibilities for an intuitive and playful architecture, made up of moves and countermoves, where the game of action and reaction between community and building gives life to the most diverse scenarios.

"Think Local, Be Sustainable"

noa* wanted an architecture that is social in its final purpose, and sustainable in all the aspects of the design, including the choice of materials and construction techniques. For this prototype were chosen natural materials and an exposed construction system, easy to assemble and dismantle. In the “standard package”, the façade is made up of an exposed wooden structural system and a wall of clay bricks, alternating with transparent parts, which have also been modulated on the geometry of the triangle.

The sustainable approach must be central in the design: therefore, the final choice of materials must be verified with the project environment, to check their actual availability on-site, their thermal conductivity in relation to the climatic conditions, the energy consumption in their processing, and the presence of the necessary know-how skills. Similarly, a careful design of the installations can have a positive impact on the ecological footprint of the building. The cultural center includes the use of green roofs and pergolas, photovoltaic systems, rainwater collecting systems, cross-ventilation systems as w