Tutors: Cesar Bazin (FR) | Matthieu Bordreuil (FR) |Octave Giaume (FR) | Thibault Kantok (FR)
Participants: Karl Camilleri | Kristina Pundak | Amber de Vrede | Lukas Sinica | Ignas Čeponis | Ania Popielarska | Ana Papiashvili | Angela Steauiviska | Ayse Tugce Pinar | Miha Štefl | Jernej Rojc | Lea Denša | Matilde Scali | Mariann Stensaas | Willem Coenen | Havu Järvelä | Matús Novanský | Aksel Borgen | Timothé Houillon | Louis Laulanné | Deepka Abbi | Siyana Georgieva | Zofia Kurczych | Charlotte Von Doesburg | Lucas Bonnel
Civil Engineering consultant: Eloi Durand (FR)
Total Area: 37m2
Height: 10.40 m
Number of floors: 3
Location: Nida | Lithuania
Photo: Lucas Bonnel | Alexandra Kononchenko
The Highlight is a project which provides Nida a new public space and a lot of new experiences. The image of architectural piece contains from two wooden vertical blades and the space of 2.30m between them includes several levels of different function in itself. These two blades enclose the Highlight entirely from 2 sides – marking a path, creating a gateway, and frames on the landscape, and give a monolithic aspect.
Different levels can be used variously – playground, shelter, belvedere, etc. The levels are connected with each other by the system of metal ladders and wooden platforms, the higher you go the more of panorama you see, at the top of the Highlight you can take pleasure of viewing 3600 on Nida panorama, which is very impressive seen on site.
The construction process was ongoing very lively, the Highlight transformed each hour – especially during the final phase. Let us share the interview with Cezar Bazin, which contains many interesting details about the project and the process of design and construction as well.
– How was the final and exact height of the building defined?
The size of the tower is designed according to human body measuring and functions of spaces we wanted to include in the project: a lounge protected from the wind and opened on the floor for the first level, an amphitheater for the second level and finally the belvedere on top opened on the surroundings.
Then obviously the spaces are thought to fit with the site, the height of trees and to offer a view on the sea, the lagoon, and the unique landscape of Nida.
We also had to define a height fitting our schedule, means and possibilities.
– Were there any complicated details and unexpected difficulties during design and construction process?
We had a lot of unexpected difficulties! One of the main challenge was to keep our blade concept, which actually works as two big flags against the wind… and design a structure as discrete as possible.
First challenge was during the design and conception phase: the whole effort was to keep our concept and its realization as close as possible to the initial idea and dimensions. We had a lot of discussions with our engineer to integrate as much as possible the strong efforts the structure had to face. That’s why we used the railings as the bracing, acting as structural beams.
Another difficulty was to design a project that would be as integrated in the landscape as possible, that’s where the burnt wood appeared to be a perfect solution, both on technical and aesthetic levels.
During the construction we were expecting some difficulties, but the specificity of EASA is that you have to figure out some quick and architecturally satisfying solutions, considering the timing. Some things we drew didn’t work so well so we had to figure out very fast, how to find a good way out, such as some metal or wood tolerances that we didn’t take into account. One of the main challenge and teaching from the construction of Highlight was that the wood is a living material, not often straight and that you have to work a lot on it and its details for it to fit your expectations, and look as close as possible to the project.
Then obviously managing 20 students and build such a project with non-professional workers was quite a challenge, and required much more care and attention.
The heavy rains were also a very big problem.
– How do you feel about the building now, when it’s completed?
We are very proud and happy about the outcome, and that we succeeded in keeping it very close to the initial idea. Some results even exceeded our expectations, especially the lights effects and reflections on the burnt wood. And we were not thinking that the views would be so awesome.
Check more here: Highlight
Author: Tata Alkhazashvili