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Co-creation: How a Public Event Has Changed a Design Project


There were rather low expectations about the outcomes of the June 13th open air event (picnique-style) we (Pawillion team) hosted near the building of the would-be collaboration space Pawillion. What we did expect was a lot of critical comments about the initial design for the Pawillion building. It is located in the historical park (Stryisky Park) and Lviv residents are known for not liking anything new in their historical urban spaces, which is also rather natural considering horrors of modern architecture emerged in 90-ties in our part of Europe. However, the open air event has led to unexpected results – and more on that below.

Let’s start with the context. There is this 600 sq.m. building located in the Stryisky Park. It’s pity current state is shown below:

Pawillion-Current-State-2 Pawillion-Current-State-1

We plan to trasnform it into the collaboration space Pawillion. To achieve the project’s goals, we need to double the useful space of the interior (to bring it to at least 1000 sq.m.) – otherwise the project’s economics does not work. But there is a minor issue of the building located in the historical park in the protected area that renders it impossible to increase the exterior size or even visual boundaries of the building. Extensions of any kind are also out of question. Taras Bondar, co-owner of the GismoArchitects studio and co-founder of the Pawillion itself, and the Pawillion team has come up with the following concept that we actually presented on June 13 at the open air event:

Pawillion-Concept-1 Pawillion-Concept-2

With this concept we planned four levels inside the building as well as lowering the ground floor half a meter down, thus increasing the useful interior space without amending the exterior look. The design also took note of the key selling point of the location by increasing number and size of windows providing more and better lighting inside the building while also offering a great view to the park. The exterior was also to be fitted with materials most suitable for the park and used in other buildings in the Stryisky Park, – bricks, wood and metal.

We have also pondered over the exterior look and have produced the following designs:

Pawillion-Visual-Concept-1-2 Pawillion-Visual-Concept-1-1

Yet we figured out that even small amendments to the exterior shape of the building were not allowed and the planned copper fitting was too expensive. The front carvings were saved but it rendered doors too narrow to be comfortable, esp. with windows being wider than the doors, – inviting for alternative use of windows as entry points to Pawillion. We continued playing with the design and the next version looked like this:

Pawillion-Visual-Concept-2-2

There are more wood in this version, – we made elaborate use of transformable panels that could cover or open the windows creating an interesting visual pattern from outside. The entry doorframe was made wider and the doors themselves were to be made of glass allowing for a great view to the park through the building. The roofing materials remained metal plates. Another round of costs showed this version not much cheaper than the previous one, – this time round wooden panels made it too expensive. We have moved to the third version:

Pawillion-Visual-Concept-3-2

Actually that was the final design version we presented on June 13. Here only one part of the building is covered with wood and wooden transformable panels.

At the event we gathered good recommendations and suggestions (see report). In general people were fond of the idea with levels and the space dynamics inside the Pawillion. The exterior look though brought discussions centering on the idea to keep the current symmetry of the windows that would otherwise be lost in the presented designs. On the other hand preserving the shape of windows goes counter the functional use of the building, – for multilevel space for innovative companies, teams and freelancers.

The discussion and related discussion process moved from the Stryisky Park to Charles Bukowski – a local gaudy and rather rowdy bar, – slowly entering June 14. This intensive collaborative brainstorming session facilitated by consumption of local drinks has resulted in a totally different architectural concept, – and a new designs for Pawillion.

New designs stick to the idea of level but now they are not asymmetrical ones. A new space is set in the centre of the building becoming a visual anchor of the Pawillion. This space can be used for public events, as a social space for Pawillion residents, meeting points etc. The building will have now 3 levels. There is an events hall, meeting rooms at ground and first level, option to separate the space into modules at the first level etc. Lowering the floor at the ground level remains part of the design. The main change, however, is in the exterior, – the design keeps the current symmetry of windows extending them to the full height of the building with metal outer fitting providing for the current horizontal symmetry. This way we preserve the look of windows yet solve the issue of letting light into the building. This design is also significantly cheaper to develop.

It is a first tangible results of co-creation in Pawillion history, – when collective mind transforms ideas of the core team. We thank all participants of the June 13 event. And those who want to get involved in the process are invited to follow our announcements on the Facebook. Next we plan to engage future residents of Pawillion and those interested into planning the interior layout and design of Pawillion. And we plan to do it inside the building itself. If your team is growing and you want to plan your own future office – it would be a chance for you to get engaged!

19.08.2014 | Воробей Володимир