Viruth Purichanont, United Kingdom


Explanatory Note

Tolbuhinsky Art Centre

Known as the important transportation infrastructure, the developing of the bridge keep human community connected beyond the limitation of landscape.  It connect the continent in the ancient time, it connect the city and provide rapid transport for the modern time.

But it left the massive structure below its smooth surface. This structure hidden from the surface, hidden from the bridge user, but provide space with huge opportunity to re-use it. While the top surface been used as the bridge for vehicle and pedestrian, the structure provide the huge and strong shed. This shed have been adopted by the people. Sometimes it become shed for homeless, sometimes it become football field, community garden, or even become the luxury pub or office in developed country such as UK. But what should be there? What should be under the bridge?


But I have another question come up. Do we really have to define what will be in those space? Since this kind of urban fabric can be found in anywhere. And each site have their own potential. Instead of design what should be there, the idea of flexibridge is the flexible structure that can be attached under the bridge and make it possible for those space to become everything. The structure that will provide the most elementary architectural elements that allow any program to inhabit in those space, and simple enough for the local to establish this structure with simple tools. I decide to look back to the primitive elements in architecture. There are two elementary elements required for make the enclosed volume, horizontal plane (floor) and vertical plane (wall). The relationship of those elements under the rule of physic create the container which secure object from outside environment. 

The most important advantage of space under the bridge is the fact that they already provide structure to hold the roof. So what we need is just the horizontal elements that sustain by itself. Among the different construction technology I prefer the use of scaffolding. The advantage of scaffolding is the possibility to create the vertical elements without need of massive foundation, the ability to extend the wall, and ability to re-install it again somewhere else. This basic structure allow the user to upgrade or extend the building by themselves, to find the form that correspond to the site and community.  There are also potential of create enclosed space by connect the panels of light wall or glass to the scaffolding structure, now the structure will become the wall. The user will have many option of panel that fitted for become a façade for each different program.

Why Tolbuhinsky Art Centre?

Tolbuhinsky art center is only one example of how scaffolding architecture work in the context of tolbuhinsky bridge. Due to the site survey, this space locate in the industrial areas. There are no urban infrastructure in those area accept the huge shopping mall and the church nearby. Nevertheless this area is connected to the river bank. Those long narrow river bank also provide some plant and have potential to develop into esplanade and park, connect shopping mall and the church together. I decide to use the scaffolding structure to create art center under Tolbuhinsky Bridge. To provide the public art center to the community. The project include two main structure, the river front section provide the studio for local artist and kids, workshop room for public workshop, Exhibition space and public theatre. The road front section provide café space and local market, to use as commercial section that gain fund for run the project. The design aim to demonstrate the scaffolding structure in the exterior but also maximize the interior space. Just like how the bridge connect transportation to the heart of city, the art center connect the community together under the gigantic infrastructure of modern world.


Viruth Purichanont

The architecture student from Bangkok/ Thailand Who came to London to study in Master degree in Kingston University, london


Bsc Architectural Design, Chulalongkorn University,Bangkok Thailand

( On going ) MA Architecture, Kingston University,  London

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