Trans-Siberian pit stops
Architecture, small scale
Team NAAD [Yoichiro Hayashi with Jules-Valentin Boucher, Juliette Cottereau, Emma Bourdon & Simon Genillier Roelsgaard]
Program Information kiosk
Site Several sites along the Trans-Siberian railway
Living area ~55m²
Award Honorable Mention at «Trans Siberian Pit Stops» international competition organised par BeeBreeders
A small building that would be repeated several times across the 9,289 kilometers long Trans Siberian railway. A building that should have a strong identity, as a landmark, in order to act as a milestone and also to be easily recognizable by tourists. But how to achieve such a thing when the same building would be placed in such various places in terms of cultural identity, history and climate? That is the question we explored while trying to figure out the project, along with making an efficient building.
We chose to build the whole site area (8x8x4) with a monolithic building covered with Cor-Ten steel. There are various reasons to that choice: for example, Cor-Ten steel has the advantage of not needing much maintenance, which is important within the regions where the project would be built. But mainly, in order to make a building with a strong identity, but also that would reveal the specificities of each site, the Cor- Ten steel skin would take different colors through time and place, making the several identical buildings look different :
«When exposed to the elements, weathering steel (Cor-Ten) rusts. Its surface colors changes to earthy red, the evenness of which cannot be produced artificially. The speed of this process varies from place to place and is dependent upon both atmospheric and geographic conditions as well as the season of the year. The rusty patina that develops within a few months grows darker in time. The oxide surface is supposed to resist further corrosion and preserve the structural strength of the steel. If any part of its surface is scratched off, it reforms itself in time. […] this material [has] maintenance-free characteristics.»
Mohsen Mostafavi & David Leatherbarrow, On Weathering — The Life of Buildings in Time, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993.
We explored other characteristics of the Cor-Ten steel skin, like its thinness, allowing it to be perforated. With the desire of making the building a tribute to Russian culture, we took a traditional хохлома (Khokhloma) pattern, reinterpreted it into a modern pixel-like pattern, and applied it to the entire skin of the building. We also took the chance to literally make it a milestone : as seen in the elevation, the numbers of kilometers from Moscow would be perforated directly in the steel sheet. Therefore, the building would also look different by day or night: by day, the entirety of the skin can be seen, wether by night only the some parts of the Khokhloma pattern would be visible, lightened from inside, along with the number of kilometers.
The inside is divided in two distinct parts :
Void / Solid
Transparent / Opaque
Glass / Wood
Free space / Fixed space
Polyvalent space / Determined fonctions
Movable furniture / Fixed furniture
Open space / Partitioned space
The «solid part» therefore contains all the pre-determined fonctions such as toilets for the public (handicapped-accessible), toilets for the staff, storage, shelves for storage and display of pamphlets and other information, and the office/desk between staff and public. The transparent part, however, can be arranged in various ways, with chairs, benches, tables or plants. Also, depending on the climatic conditions, it can be totally closed or totally opened, and everything in between. The Cor-Ten panels, when opened, are used as porch roof, and the sliding glass panels can be partially or totally opened as wanted.