Ene+Ene Arhitectura

Extension of the Romanian Architect’s Union Center for Architectural Culture – Library and Archive, Bucharest

RenderInterior courtyard
Render Library interior
Site plan
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2015Competition Extension of the Romanian Architect’s Union Center for Architectural Culture – Library and Archive, Bucharest

2015 / Competition / Extension of the Romanian Architect’s Union Center for Architectural Culture – Library and Archive

Mention (second rank)

Location: Bucharest, Romania
Project Status: Competition
Architecture: E+EA – Mihai Ene, Adela Ene
Structure: Profesional Construct Proiectare – Paul Ioan
Client: Romanian Architect’s Union
Surface: –
Period: 2015
Renders: E+EA

At first glance, the attitude about the possibilities of intervention can outline various positions that balance between discrete and forceful solutions, but a careful analysis of the context justifies the option for a visual intervention but that complements the existing values. The proposed extension, rational and neutral, without historical stylistic references, completes the overall image of the enclosure: a discrete, almost two-dimensional architectural background, a backdrop for the public space of the court, which has the role of highlighting the eclectic, volumetric architecture of the existing building. In order to meet these intentions, the prismatic volume is the result of the planning and architectural constraints that shape it – the plot coefficients, the configuration of the building surface and the proximity to the existing building.

The proposed building, a rectangular prism with a width of 4.5 m, the length of 19.55 m, aligns to the eastern, northern and western boundaries of the plot, occupying the maximum surface allowed by the urban regulations. The distance between the two buildings allows the natural illumination of the newly-proposed spaces, the rooms in the existing building, as well as the ground floor layout of an outdoor terrace for outdoor dining and coffee. The location of the vertical circular core consisting of the staircase and elevator near the secondary staircase of the existing building in the south-western extremity of the site has a dual motivation: it makes the most restrictive geometry of the plot and at the same time respects the requirements for the escape routes. The connection between the two buildings, the existing and the new one, is made by means of a volume with an internal width of 1.20 m, which also assures the mediation of the floor elevation differences. The rhythm of the facade (using the same 60 cm module for both opaque and transparent surfaces) is the natural expression of an organization defined by repeating modular furniture elements typical of this program.

In order to meet the requirements of adapting to building conditions on a plot which is inaccessible, with restrictive geometry and dimensions, we adopted a strategy based on modularity. With the exception of the basement, imagined in the system of diaphragms and reinforced situ concrete slabs, all the elements that make up the new proposed building are prefabricated, modular and use dry building technologies. The structure is of steel, using columns and beams, The floor slabs are also prefabricated, consisting of 20 cm thick reinforced concrete strips with a width of 1.15 m and a length of 3.65 m. They are supported by perimeter beams (HEA300.

The logic of the structure, determined by the ideas of modularity and prefabrication, continues on the facades. The exterior wall consists of 10 cm thick, 50 cm tall, horizontally positioned tiles that make up the basalt mineral wool thermal insulation, the interior gypsum board and the white exterior Eternit boards. To achieve the neutral and uniform backdrop, all windows use a 60% raster coat of white screenprinted paint. The western facade of the ground floor is completely transparent and opens to the outer courtyard.