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Building Works Unit completes sliding timber folly

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Building Works Unit, which runs as part of the RTU International Architecture Summer School, has unveiled this year’s project – a event space at a derelict brewery in Cēsis, Latvia 

ARCHITECT’S VIEW • SECTIONS • AXONOMETRICS

It is the sixth year the teaching outfit run by British architects Theodore Molloy and Thomas Randall-Page has run the building workshop at the two-week-long summer school. 

Entitled Night Train, the stucture, which was built by an international group of 13 students, is designed as an events space and beacon for change within the brewery site.

It is made entirely from locally sourced Latvian pine and was prefabricated next to the site.

It includes a 13m-long raised track, which is a table at its lower end and a viewing platform at the other. A mobile timber-framed ‘carriage’, which acts as a lamp shrouded in a fine light-defusing timber fringe, travels along this track.

tom randall page movement tom randall page movement from park

Architect’s view

This year the project was located in the territory of the old brewery, Cēsis, Latvia. Cēsis’ old brewery lies at the very heart of the town bordered on three sides buy the medieval castle and its gardens. The whole site is undergoing extensive transformation into a centre for science and arts. Night Train is one of the first in a series of pioneer projects making this transformation happen. 

A key concept for the wider transformation of the site is that of “slow architecture, taking place gradually with reconstruction itself becoming a public event”. This is the context within which the summer school is working this year. 

The Night Train has a slim horizontal orientation lying in contrast to the imposing brick chimney of the former boiler house and the rugged terrain. This linear structure is both walkway and railroad affording a series of experiences and functions. Both lantern and room the fringed carriage roles through the dark from station to station activating elements and encouraging activities as it goes.

Sections

Night Train by Building Works Unit

Night Train by Building Works Unit

animated section

Axonometrics

Night Train by Building Works Unit

Night Train by Building Works Unit

animated axo

 

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