Cultural and Community Center in BergemTorna alla Lista di Progetti
- Bergem, Lussemburgo
A new cultural centre was to replace the dilapidated community centre in the heart of the village of Bergem. A condition of the commission was that clubs could continue their activities in the existing building until the new one was ready. Dominating the remaining free space on the plot, which borders a green zone, was a majestic walnut tree.
Bruck + Weckerle Architekten felt that this tree, sheltering its meadow for over 80 years, was such a feature of the village of Bergem that it deserved to be retained and displayed to its best advantage. They recognized the scope offered by this symbolic tree, when allied to subtlety of design, for creating a unique meeting point that would not only reconcile the natural and cultural worlds but also architecturally enrich the core of the village.
The design concept comprises a low, rectangular structure covering the entire remainder of the plot. Where the walnut tree stands, a semicircular recess is scooped out of that stark geometry - creating a transitional zone between indoors and outdoors. The building appears to welcome visitors with open arms and to embrace the walnut tree.
The welcoming stance of the semicircular inner courtyard, with a continuing facade built in structural glazing, contributes to the character of the building and draws the visitor to the heart of it. A curved wall, panelled in walnut, sweeps round to create a single uninterrupted space that surrounds the entire inner courtyard and leads to the main hall. The wall facing onto the tree is wholly glass, including glass doors that can be opened in fine weather to give access to the courtyard.
This spatial organization offers many different ways of using the space. All the ancillary rooms are located behind the curved wall. The falling contour allows natural light in the basement, where the spaces for delivery are situated. They can be accessed any time from behind the building, independently from events and visitors. Also the clubrooms and the entire logistics are located in the basement. The building meets the modern requirements with respect to ecology, engineering and building technology (green roof, rain water usage, ground-coupled heat exchanger etc.).
The main hall is of a simple, harmoniously constituted design that is at the same time self-contained yet open to the surrounding landscape. The space can be divided through a mobile partition wall, allowing the different atmospheres from family living room to high-tech multi-functionality. The ceiling and the panels between the windows are finished in walnut veneer and decorated with a pattern of perforations especially designed for this room and its acoustic demands.
As an external expression of the building’s cultural role and its restrained festivity, a stylised red stage curtain serves as a metaphor for celebration, community and culture. Cast in concrete, it looks like a freeze-frame image, composed of nine individual molded precast concrete elements. It nevertheless seems to move back and forth as the light brightens or dims in time to the swaying branches. The windows are vertical bands of glass, splitting the curtain into strips as if it had simply been pushed to a side.