artcor - creative center

area: 850 m²project year: 2017completion year: 2019photographers: volker kreidler, oleg bajura, ivan bezvuscheak, etalpmetlead architects: maxim calujacengineering: anatol butnaru, valerii bulanov, evghenia galcovscaia, tudor arhip, andrei borsartists: vasile sitari, elena frunze, nadya izosimova, ana costov, vasiluța vasilache, alyona ciobanu, veronica belous, artiom vizitiu, maria huțanu, mihai stamati, andreea cioară 

The ARTCOR - Creative Industries Center is located in the historic center of Chisinau in the courtyard of the Art Academy (AMTAP), with a vision to become a hub for the development of creative industries in Moldova.
The design of the building was influenced by the configuration of the plot position and the presence of the Cazimir-Keshco monument. The center comprises of two units: a new building covering 400 m², and a section of the existing Art Academy building spanning 450 m².
The new building is designed to host exhibitions, performances, and workshops, with a green terrace on the roof that can be accessed through open-air auditorium stairs. The renovated part of the Art Academy building includes spaces for workshops, a media library, and meeting rooms, with sound recording spaces and rehearsal rooms located in the refitted basement.
The main goal of the design was to create a center for the creative community without altering the existing historical background, while also transforming the courtyard into an active urban spot where visitors can explore all the opportunities that ARTCOR has to offer.

The new construction is a volume of reinforced concrete, wrapped in Corten steel, with the interior design accentuating the building's structural features, such as a caisson ceiling, internal auditorium staircases, and tinted concrete walls. The moderate interior design allows visitors to focus their attention on the exhibited art-works. The main materials of the project are concrete, Corten steel, and wood, which are all "pure" and require no explanation. The smooth texture of the concrete contrasts with the rusted metal velvet surface of the Corten steel.
The allocated section of the existing building was stripped of all non-essential finishes to reveal authentic materials, which were reused during construction and in the final stages. For instance, the wood of the old floors was cleaned and used in the interior decoration of walls, while murals and built-in ceramic panels were used as decorative elements. Glass is widely used as a transparent interconnection of zones, and the furniture and part of the ceiling lighting were designed by the architect specifically for this center.

The design of the new structure was influenced by the surrounding elements and viewpoints. As visitors approach, the building gradually opens up, expanding and shrinking to create an enhanced perspective effect from both inside and outside. The external concrete staircase serves not only as a path to the green roof, but also as an amphitheater and a space for interaction and communication. Along the wall of the stairs, there are bas-reliefs depicting male and female senses and emotions, serving as tools of creativity and inspiration. The smooth line of the Corten-steel railing breaks the predictability of the geometry, softening the straightforward composition, adding emotionality and also functioning as a railing.
Despite a tight budget, the project brought together volunteer artists, professors, and students from the academy to create decorative elements for the complex. As a result of its implementation, the center has become a cultural and educational hub of Chisinau, hosting over 200 events annually, including master classes, film screenings, musical performances, laser shows, and more.