This project has been initiated by the World Club of Odessans (odessitclub.org) to commemorate the memory of the great satirist, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, not with a monument, but with an institution. Zhvanetsky Cultural Centre is to become a major cultural hub of Odessa, bringing Odessans together.
Functionally, the project envisages maximum flexibility. The core of the new institution will be formed by a library with three crucial components: a centre for urban public activities, for education, and for culture.
The Centre’s mission is both to preserve Odessa’s cultural artefacts and to give an opportunity to the new generation to develop and to leave their imprint. The spaces can be easily transformed to host various events, including urban exhibitions, performances, conferences, discussions, etc. This is a location for daily visits and recreation, where exciting things take place every day.
Finally, we have selected a form with minimum architecture: a traditional winding path leading downhill. This is the key project story, which allows us to alternate acute-angled volumes to let enough light into the internal premises. Terracing creates a polyfunctional volume embedded into the slope, pierced with a single vertical axis of the lift and the staircase.
One of the customer’s requests was to find a possible location for such a centre. We have used the tactic of architecture integrated into the existing context. It took a while to choose the location: we considered many venues and conducted a research. Our ultimate goal was to find a place with all the traditional Odessa’s components:
1.a sea view
2.a public zone close to Zhvanetsky Boulevard, which is visited by more guests every year
3.park recreation space – today presented by slopes (presently, this zone is under formation).
For a city with a long warm season, the relationship between the park zones and the buildings is an important issue. In this project, the border between the landscape and the architecture is largely erased by performative events: the Centre is to become a fulcrum for urban culture development, a hub accumulating talents, knowledge, events and urban communities.