gateway : Natalie Pierro

Gateway

Community Center; Trinidad and Tobago (Fall 2008)

Background:
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a recently independent nation of only 40 years, and the country is still struggling to find not only its place in the world, but also its cultural identity. The community for which this “gateway” has been proposed is in itself an attempt to define an idea of the modern city in Trinidad - one that combines and characterizes its many influences into one cohesive being. The site is known as Tamana InTech Park, and it plans to provide an additional campus for the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).

Design Concept:
Through this building, the many people that make this great country will come together in a sort of "cultural knot". The program of the building is self-proposed and revolves around those which stimulate cohesion and public interaction. These programs include: Congregation/Auditorium Space, Transportation Hub (for train, bus, car and pedestrian), Information Center, Cultural Gallery, International Food Court, Internet Cafe/Lounge.

The building itself functions as an open pavilion, defined by two intertwining shells; at the center of which exists the Congregation Space - the focus of attention. As one moves through the building, they follow a continuous path of circulation that intentionally picks them up and delivers them at the beginning and end of the “knot.” Meanwhile, the surface treatment recalls that of a hut and the form of a church, both of which begin to redefine the idea of community and togetherness.

(upper floor, gallery/auditorium) (walking through main entrance) (transportation hub/cafe)