Military Museum Competition

[ka-stel-uh m]
(Archaeology), noun
pl. cas•tel•li [ka-stel-ahy] /kæˈstɛl aɪ/
1. castellum militare
a small Roman fortlet or tower, a diminutive of castrum (‘military camp’),
often used as a watchtower or signal station
2. castellum divisorium
a settling or storage tank in a Roman aqueduct or castellum aquae.

The main idea behind this proposal is the division of the two main parts of the brief – exhibition and hospitality by using the two different meanings of the Latin word ‘castellum’. Coming from these types we have an organically integrated in the terrain square construction in the western lower part of the competition project area. On the other hand we are proposing carefully integrated in the existing terrain/buildings small extensions of the new fort/museum.

The hotel extension containing vaulted ceiling hotel rooms starts form the existing and currently abandoned long ex-barracks which are already transformed into restaurant/kitchen, lobby-bar and cafeteria with exhibition area. In the center of this hospitality area is located the welcome desk and area for the coming clients and the rest of the old buildings are to be transformed into secondary technical/plumbing and supporting the main hotel spaces.

All the rooms are located in the new contemporary ‘aqueduct’ which is bordering an island garden inside the ‘castellum divisorium’. All are planned without using any excavation and only in the parts of the terrain where it is possible. In the parts where we don’t have enough height where is just the pure part of the structure coming to revoke the feeling about one entire arched structure and connecting the new hotel structure in one complete crafted peace of stone.

Between the hotel and museum parts there are located the supporting buildings connected with the museum. Almost invisible, designed into the existing slope of the terrain is the new multifunctional hall, which is using the slope for its tribunes and has the opportunity for external seating thanks to the slightly redesign of the existing terrain levels. Here we can find the entrance/tickets office where is located the main entrance to the all museum complex.

The big existing building here is planned to be a library with an archive and research/lessons space and is going to be connected with the main part of the museum with small elevator and bridge directly to level 100.00 where is located the small bookshop/souvenir store and the path leading to the main entrance of the museum complex. Around the library there is going to be a new pedestrian path and a staircase connecting the existing tower and leading to a point with a great view.

There is a second elevator and bridge from level 89.20 leading directly to the top part of the ex-military fortress and present museum. Around this elevator there is also small amphitheatrically located in the terrain place about small performances with the amazing view on the back leading the view over the beauties of this part of the island. We can find similar sightseeing terrace on the top of the existing buildings nearby on level 92.80 and in the most southern part of the fortress.

We are using the current main entrance to the fortress as a main entrance to the museum complex – a ‘castellum militare’. A long staircase/ramp is design on the terrain to lead into the museum following the design guidelines of the similar structures located on another ex-military forts on the island. The museum itself is organized horizontally as continuous space within the maze of existing small rooms where the visitor can find the different periods of naval history of the place.

The only new extension of the museum is located in the west part of the existing structure and it is organically connected with it as well as with the existing terrain. The additional structure will serve as bigger hall for permanently exhibited objects or temporary exhibitions and will add the missing bigger space of the museum. The vaulted structure is connected with the design of all the new parts and it is gently covering two flat terraces of the terrain respected the height of 4 m.

Every single part of the project area is friendly to use from people with reduced mobility – starting from the part of hotel and restaurant, continuing with the library/multifunctional hall and going to the museum. The museum itself has integrated elevator in the existing small higher part on second level, leading the people to the main open space/terrace. Here we can find small café, space for open-air exhibitions/sculptures and the memorial point of the museum and ex-fort.

Every single detail of this proposal is designed with high respect to the existing buildings, without destroying the memory but adding new values to the objects. Every small extension is carefully planned and integrated within the available resources and nature conditions. The new proposal is definitely not being thought as the main protagonist of the project but playing its important role within the whole orchestra of existing volumes and its currently abandoned but valuable memory.