Designed by OH.NO.SUMO, the ‘Stairway Cinema’ installation experiments with architecture and the way it can engage with the public in unique and exciting ways. This project takes inspiration from the site and its inhabitants. Located at the busy pedestrian intersection of two inner city streets in Auckland, New Zealand, the installation offers a very simple programmatic response to recognize and counter the issue of how a community must be linked not only virtually but also physically. More images and architects’ description after the break.
It is located between two universities and is a place of ‘unconsidered waiting’. Bus stops and laundromats create a dispersed hard-scape that results in numerous instances of poor quality waiting, while simultaneously failing to provide quality space for social interaction. Members of the public retreat individually into the media offered on their mobile phones. This in turn results in greater separation and dislocation from an existing community that is waiting to be activated.
Short movies, previously shared online, are projected for the public to enjoy, offering similar media to that sought out on their phones. The individual experience is exchanged for the communal and social, leading to a shared, fun and architecturally activated experience. Movies are collected from internet recommendations that have been shared by the public through social media. The public curate this virtual collection of media continuously and the cinema captures current trends and highlights within this realm. Stairway Cinema uses architecture as a way of engaging in a discussion about curatorial practice, opportunistic urbanism and the role of Architects as place-makers and provocateurs.
The structure is a slender timber truss frame constructed from 24x24mm pine members. Covering this frame is a triple skin system of fabric that provides a waterproof exterior, a dappled light effect and a soft tactile interior surface. Sited above an existing exterior stairway, the fabric and timber hood creates a new interior within the public realm; a space that is free to enter and welcomes all. The interior, softened with custom made cushions, offers a repurposed seating tier. Over the entrance video content is projected onto the screen at the cantilevered end of the structure.
At the core of the work undertaken by OH.NO.SUMO. is a desire to achieve architectural projects which offer an alternative mode of research. Hidden potentials of existing spaces are discovered through fun and accessible processes of design and fabrication which engage the public. Stairway Cinema was part of St Paul St Gallery’s Curatorial Season 2012.The series of exhibitions invited select artists to examine approaches concerning contemporary curatorial practice.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Project Team: Patrick Loo, Sarosh Mulla, James Pearce & Katherine O’Shaughnessy
Fabrication: Oh.No.Sumo with assistance by volunteers
Project Sponsors: Creative New Zealand & Fabric Structure Systems
Client: St Paul St Gallery
Dimensions: 3.5m long x 1.4m wide x 2.3m high
Materials: Truss frame constructed from 24x24mm pine members covered by 3 layers of polyester, angora knit and cotton fabrics
Project Year: April 2012