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UNStudio, New Orleans, US, Newer Orleans, Ben Van Berkel, mediatheque, cultural facility, open structure, post-disaster architecture

The project of a Mediatheque – “Newer Orleans” in US, by UNStudio, helps better understanding the building as a tool in re-establishing a balanced ecology between culture and commerce. Here the participants can congregate without fear of reprisal – it could be called the safe haven and it acts as a setting that people transiently share.

This is what architects from UNStudio were imagining as the future of one of the world’s most vibrant, yet stricken places – a public construction, open, accessible, and forward-looking. However, as they stated, the task of rebuilding New Orleans undoubtedly leads to a paradox – on one hand the city needs new buildings symbolizing hope and courage towards the future while on the other people have to realize what happened and address recent history. The dramatic fact has to be noticed; therefore it should be avoided to tell complete new story after a disaster has occurred.

The mediatheque acts as a hub, it is a place for meeting and exchange, offering differently themed landscaped plateaus for visitors to gather and socialize. As it stores and preserves information of all types, the building forms a part of a network of new New Orleans community centers, dedicated to learning and culture.

Regarding the very form of this cultural facility, the ancient ziggurat motif is transformed into a design model that combines various public and private programs in a stepped series of radically different environments. It is a constant adventure of sun-seeking versus shadow-rich, open versus enclosed, serrated profile versus smooth elevation.

UNStudio, New Orleans, US, Newer Orleans, Ben Van Berkel, mediatheque, cultural facility, open structure, post-disaster architecture

UNStudio, New Orleans, US, Newer Orleans, Ben Van Berkel, mediatheque, cultural facility, open structure, post-disaster architecture

UNStudio, New Orleans, US, Newer Orleans, Ben Van Berkel, mediatheque, cultural facility, open structure, post-disaster architecture

UNStudio, New Orleans, US, Newer Orleans, Ben Van Berkel, mediatheque, cultural facility, open structure, post-disaster architecture

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