1. Standing point: Borders usually impose limits and offer projects. It's always about the "other side", or what isn't on "this side". Nontheless, one thing is certain: in the end, everybody tries to find the common ground.
2. Starting point: We begin our way with an interest in spaces and what creates them. A feeling or a space typology can be very specific to one's identity. If the exterior sets landmarks, reading uses bookmarks, this project is about hall-marks.
3. Key element: The book is a medium, but also a finish. It sets an entrance, acts as a facade and guides the transition through the pavillion. Also, the different print sizing is a starting point to propose a singular module, used throughout the built elements: 40x40x40 cm. A bookstand that puts the "book" as the universal key: base, structural dimension, content, facade.
4. Structure: Modularity is another key aspect of our project, always holding multiple traits. It takes maximum advantage of the budget, the implementation/dismantle timings and it's easier to transport. At the same time, the reversibility and after-use can be up to 100%: mixed as new office fittings, bookcases, new exhibition modules or even public space object/interventions. As we evolve to an interior diversity, the finish differs to complement each function: info point, selling spot, exhibition, kids' space, meeting area. The building method takes que in a tradition of masonry: using an element to develop different shapes and volumes in a three-dimensional way.
5. Context: Following through with the design process, we find the context less relative, but rather specific: a crossroads, outlined on the backside by an L-shaped volume. The context is the entire hall. The present artificial topography, relating to multiple ways of acces, is a starting point to a way of defining specific functional areas. Our intention is to add to the existing, by proposing fresh archetypes: a circle, a square, a zigzag. Also universal elements, they create space and engage in a dialogue with the present volume, in shape and height. The structure is defined by the 40x40x40cm module, the size is related to the user and the plot limits. The discourse we propose is fulfilled by positioning on the layout, structured by the same 40x40 grid.The basic finish for the walkways continue onto the plot, defining the common ground. The square becomes a pillar - the infopoint and cashing area. A corner totem that signals the entrance, rotated 45˚ to break the existing relation with the two entryways. Limit-free, the visitors are attracted from both sides, without defining hierarchies. On the shorter front, the modules dissolve into rectangular plinth, exhibiting some of the books selected for purchase, in direct relation to the totem. The visitors can sit here, read, walk around it. Walking by the other side, the space is opened: fluid with the info-point's direction, in contradiction with the existing L-shaped volume, the Agora is turned towards the alleyway. A half-circle, bridging the height between the existing and the Totem. It reveals two sides: the interior, oriented towards the visitors, welcomes and keeps everybody present and engaged towards the speaker, standing in the apex; here is the debate& presentation space. The exterior, a background that separates the public area from the next function: the children's place.
By now, we've established a strong frontline of content and context: information, debate, bookshop represented by different height volumes and expressed in 40x40x40 modules. The visitor can enter, walk around, take part and most important become part ‘of’. Lastly, on the backside, the viewing spot and children's area that require a "crossing". The zigzag, parallel to the short side of the layout becomes the fixer; a piece that locks in the other, placed between the Totem and Agora. Extruded to the medium height, it acts like a magnet: makes the passage between the set functions and creates depth by leading the visitors more to the interior. It grounds itself as the last element in a composition with the Agora and the existing L-shaped volume, defining an articulated childrens' space.
6. Crossing Borders: It's not about defining or redefining borders. Different volumes, storing books on all sides are key in defining a clear architectural speech that sets the Romexpo hall as the larger context; it defines the needed functions, articulates passages and relations between the spaces, creates new visual connections, whilst establishing precise positions to the given plot. All done by height, size shape and materiality. The UK pavillion is represented, in detail, by The Totem, Agora and ZigZag; connected between them by archetype, to the space by position and size, to the user by content and function, to a builders' tradition by a way of execution and to the books by sizing and materiality. Hallmarks.