© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Ebbs and Flows: Ramp-ed Up Multi-Use Environments

Gabrielle Golenda Gabrielle Golenda

Many of the existing buildings and spaces we inhabit are not relevant to the way we live now, as many of them were designed in pre-Victorian times. Recent architectural reassessment has found that we no longer require isolated spaces squared off for a single use, but on the contrary, we need larger, more flexible spaces that allow us to interact with each other.

As wireless living has encroached public and private spheres, spaces are becoming more dynamic and multi-functional. Posh new playgrounds now have upper and lower levels fitted with expressway ramps for parents to pick up their young ones. Museums no longer border parks, but become a part of them, where paths meandering around grassy knoll rooftops lead visitors into the building below ground. More and more, architects are rethinking entirely new spaces, spaces that adapt to our 21st-century lifestyles.

Bridging the gap between then and now is usually limited to more quick-fix solutions, such as adding an extension or remodeling. However, there are cost-effective and strategic examples, one of the most poetic being a multi-use ramp. Ramps are being incorporated by architects as innovative spaces within environments that are designed for how we actually use them, rather than attempting to control our movements and actions.

These 7 projects explore new ways ramps are being used to expand usable space and increase the efficiency of the flux and flow.

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

© Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Selvika by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, Finnmark, Norway

Commissioned by the Norwegian road administration for the city of Havøysund, this beach access ramp is intended to heighten the experience of strolling from the roadside down to the beach. Situated in a moon-like landscape of barren and inhospitable beauty, the structure is completely self-sustainable, providing parking, bike shed, public toilets, benches, open kitchen, and fireplace.

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

© OFIS architects, SADAR + VUGA, dekleva gregoric architects, Bevk Perović arhitekti

Cultural Center of European Space Technologies by Bevk Perović arhitekti, SADAR + VUGA, OFIS architects, and dekleva gregoric architects, Vitanje, Slovonia

Based on the form of the first geostationary space station, the Noordung Space Wheel, or ‘Cultural Center of European Space Technologies’ was erected in the same town where Herman Potocnik Noordung hypothesized the first theories on outer space. The massive concrete structure clad in micro-perforated aluminum sheets was devised as layers of circular volumes stacked upon each other at slightly offset angles.

© Belzberg Architects

© Belzberg Architects

© Belzberg Architects

© Belzberg Architects

© Belzberg Architects

© Belzberg Architects

LAMOTH by Belzberg Architects, Los Angeles, California

Adjacent to the existing Los Angeles Holocaust memorial, the new building for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is directly integrated into the public park landscape, submerged into the ground. A grassy knoll functions as the roof to the structure where the existing park pathways were utilized as connective elements to integrate the pedestrian flow with the new circulation for museum visitors.

© Efrain Mendez T.

© Efrain Mendez T.

© BCHO Architects Associates

© BCHO Architects Associates

© Efrain Mendez T.

© Efrain Mendez T.

Kiswire Museum and Training Center by BCHO Architects Associates, Busan, South Korea

Comprised of three buildings — a museum, residence, and learning center — Kiswire was designed to be the focal point of the Busan neighborhood. Spatial efficiency is achieved with an open column-less space featuring a spiraling ramp, object displays, a library, and service rooms.

© Sergio Perrone

© Sergio Perrone

© Sergio Perrone

© Sergio Perrone

© Sergio Perrone

© Sergio Perrone

Musée des Confluences by Coop Himmelb(l)au, Lyon, France

This faceted steel and angular glass building accommodates the museum’s collection of over 2.2 million objects alongside exhibition galleries and lecture rooms. The museum comprises an assortment of irregular shapes and protruding elements elevated over a public plaza, while spaces inside are connected by curving bridge-like ramps.

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

© Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura

Electric Ramps at the Old Centre by Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Bisecting the intersection in Victoria, this mechanical ramp drastically improves accessibility for the local community from one end of town to the other. Similar to the sequencing of frames in a film rate, a series of rectangular stainless steel arches are progressively offset, creating a cubist-expressionism effect on the free-flowing interior space.

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

© Guzmán de Yarza Blache, J1 Arquitectos

Elevated Sports Court at Lasalle Franciscanas School by J1 Arquitectos and Guzmán de Yarza Blache, Zaragoza, Spain

School courtyards are often used for recess, gym class, extracurricular activities, and gathering spaces where parents drop-off and pick-up their young ones. Under most circumstances, the result is pure chaos, with many overlapped activities and poor spatial organization. Creating a flow of circulation, this elevated sports court increases the usable area in the courtyard to accommodate the influx of parents without disturbing the multifaceted activities.

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