[M]anchester [E]volutionary [M]useum [E]nvironment
The primary aim of MEME is to enable the public to explore an intriguing reversal of the typical object/viewer relationship between museum visitors and the exhibits – within the new pavilion, visitors will be actively engaged in physical and sensory activity whilst within the object itself [in effect inside the display cabinet]. MEME will symbolise the evolution of the museum itself.
The concept behind MEME is three-pronged – that of accretive complexity, the Voronoi model and a reprogrammable structure. As an architectural form, it has been designed to symbolise an evolutionary trajectory, with the structure evolving from one end to the other, becoming gradually more complex as the visitor delves deeper within in.
The process of mineral crystallisation has provided the form generation model for MEME, in terms of pursuing an evolutionary form through the accretive complexity of simplistic constructive repetition. Specific programmatic requirements can be accommodated via the manipulation of certain ‘crystallisation parameters’, thereby producing a range of programme-specific generative processes to create a structure that can be fully enclosed [endo_scape] or open [exo_scape].
In essence MEME is an abstract sculpture based upon the Voronoi mathematical model, a structural model which can be found in much more complex forms within the natural world.
The nature of the design means that it can exist as an endo_scape, a cave-like structure to be entered and explored. But it can also become an exo_scape, a landscape open to the environment, as well as all possible configurations in between. As each ‘slice’ of the pavilion is structurally independent, a huge variety of configurations is feasible.