A design entry to the Hayy Cinema international competition organized by the Art Jameel Foundation. In collaboration with Mio Tsuneyama (Studio mnm) and Hiroyuki Ogawa (HOAP Architects).

How to insert a cinema, which itself is a complex architectural program, in an aesthetically sharp and programmatically rich already designed art center ? Through our design process, we investigated multiple strategies where the cinema space does not disrupt or interfere with the design properties and quality of the art center but rather enables a discussion between the containing building and the cinema while offering the later the possibility to stand out and affirm its own identity within the art center program.

By contrast to a museum where the atmosphere is set and controlled to allow the public to engage with art in a specific binary environment, an art center promotes freedom, mutual and non binary kinetic exchange between the public, the art production and the space. Therefore, our first concern was to propose a setup that fits within the art center program spirit, to be simultaneously legitimate and legible to both movie makers and general public, locals and foreigners, while at the same time assume the role of a presentation space and leave room for conversation and cultural expression.

By orienting the projection space through the north-west , south-east diagonal axis, the cinema is achieving fusion of both stating its identity by going against the grid and is offering functional, novel experience and narrative :

First, doing so transforms the rectangular and linear existing foyer from a boundary between the inside patio and the cinema into becoming a more organic, flexible, non rigide space, a mediator between two worlds, between outside and inside, between closed and open, between public and private.

The rotation moves the cinema slightly from the center in order to leave room for an eccentric attitude towards all that is based on centrality, giving birth to a new circulation flow, to a layering of different volumes of different heights and to an architectural sequence where people access from the open air patio, could use the foyer in various ways, either read a book using the furniture, gather around for a movie critic session, or informally sit around an ongoing casual projection on the foyer’s west white wall.

When a formal viewing is scheduled, the attendance goes under the cinema seats to purchase their tickets, food and drinks, before reaching the entrance buffer space, to board into a different environment. the exit buffer space brings back the public to the foyer but offers this time a different understanding and framing of the space.