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Tumo Center for Creative Technologies (Koghb)

Koghb, Armenia
Under Construction 2017

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Located in the city of Koghb, this is the fifth chapter in the evolution of the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, an innovative, free-of-charge open digital media learning hub. This Tumo Center follows the 2011 opening of its flagship location in Yerevan (http://www.bernardkhoury.com/project.php?id=250), the AGBU NKR Campus (http://www.bernardkhoury.com/project.php?id=278), the Gyumri Tumo Center (http://www.bernardkhoury.com/project.php?id=303) and the Vagarshapat Tumo Center (http://www.bernardkhoury.com/project.php?id=316) all previously developed by Bernard Khoury / DW5.

Similar to the original Tumo, this 980-square-meter center’s curriculum encompasses the same four focus areas: animation, video game development, digital media, and web development. The after-school synergistic hub is to be equipped with state-of-the-art digital technology, and staffed by educators and media professionals to help students explore and produce creative content and media applications through real-life projects.

Located in the major village of Koghb in the Tavush Province of Armenia, the site is mainly surrounded by rural land and a few scattered buildings, and is bordered by a main vehicular artery hugging the plot’s western periphery and running from its southernmost to its northernmost point.

The proposed scheme seeks to fuse with its context through the creation of a generous urban space reconciling two existing topographic levels. A primary reference level is established by prolonging the pavement of the bordering street, creating an oversized urban plane serving simultaneously as a functional interface as well as a horizontal façade for the project.

Oversized fissures in this vast accessible surface provide pedestrian access directly from the street to the main interior level of the project located at the second reference level 5 meters below, whereas a series of other jagged openings create visual interactions between the exterior and interior beneath it. However, the most prominent gateway into the project materializes as a gaping mouth deeper along the intervention. This installation’s opening houses the main staircase which feeds the interior below, whereas a vertical tower accommodates the elevator core and culminates in an elevated lightbox.

Finally, the eastern orientation is articulated through a forest of beams and vertical columns reconciling the edge of the upper urban plane with the lower level. These delineate a succession of exterior gardens while forming the semblance of a vertical façade.