Energy, Landscape & Culture

By establishing music communities, called `nucleos` for young people within vulnerable societies, El Sistema`s method to dwelling is found on unique and inexperienced places.

A `nucleo`, described as a growing organism with big pores to the community, suggests a method of integration to an existing place.

For El Sistema to assemble a music retreat on the site of Balloch Pier, the approach is to respond to the established heavy masonry boat-service-pier, and the newly grown woodlands behind it. By lifting the internal spaces on stilts, the site`s flood risk, due to its juxtaposition between Loch Lomond and river Leven, is avoided, and further creates big and small openings/pores of new playful spaces and circulations. This interprets a new vernacular, which gives the dweller a chance to feel El Sistema`s activities and community in a local and special atmosphere.

1/10, Exploring the Balloch Pier

In this video: Berk, Euan and I explore the wonders of the Balloch Pier.

2/10, Introducing the design proposal

3/10, Constructing the 'new interpreted vernacular'

The new construction proposes a structural language which sustains the local climate. It further suggests to be a typologies which can be further developed along the river Leven.


4/10, Constructing and Placing El Sistemas 'retreat' and 'performance hall' on the Balloch Pier.

5/10, World below

A two image short-story: From the first time arriving at the El Sistema musical retreat, exploring the views over Loch Lomond found underneath the performance hall. As one grows older with the place, one might experience immersing with local activities, such as fishing by the River Leven.

6/10, World above

A journey from the pier, up to the world of the music retreat, down to the woodlands.

7/10, The retreat

A journey from the private and intimate bedroom accomodations to the right, over to the big social building to the left. The circulations across the complex allows for different atmospheres and interactions in playful ways, which is intended to be explored by the young people of El Sistema.

8/10, The performance hall

The masonry performance hall is a space where El Sistema can invite the public to experience a vibrant feeling of the place. Of being at the tip of the Balloch pier, sitting next to the River Leven and looking out towards Loch Lomond.

9/10, The El Sistema/Big Noise complex in Use

To the left, the world below. To the right, the world above. Everything attempted integrated to the existing.

10/10, 'On a not so sunny day' at the Balloch Pier

A Shortfilm: 'Malin' seeks shelter from the weather at the Balloch Pier. She walks up to the El Sistema music retreat. She climbs all the way to the very top, where she discovers a view over Loch Lomond.