Text description provided by the architects. As a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, halo provides an introverted refuge zone for one person. By framing the private space around a person the extend of our individual comfort zone, our own aura is made visible, like an offset around a nucleus – a halo. The resulting contained space is a personal microcosm that can be inserted within any public space, keeping the person inside safe from the thread of physical contagion from people nearby. halo´s skin wraps all around a demountable lightweight steel frame, fully blocking out the risk of infection for its user. Once inside, the focus of attention shifts away from the immediate context at street level to the open sky, provoking an intimate relation with the nature right above us including tree canopies, birds, clouds and the sun, features of our environment that we normally do not pay much attention to in cities.
The semi-mirror skin offers a dual effect of reflection and transparency. At the outside the surrounding area is reflected in the mirrored surface making halo blend in with its environment up to the point where it becomes almost invisible. At a closer look, blurry views into the interior reveal the person occupying it. On the inside, a kaleidoscopic effect expands the contained space to a multiple of its own scale whilst maintaining views to the outside and passers-by. The person relaxing inside halo gets reflected too, imitating the sense of being part of a larger group - a feeling that is sorely missed during the pandemic. Placed around existing urban elements such as a bench, a bollard, or a tree, halo can transform into a small living room where one can stretch out on a bench, or a reading niche when sitting on street furniture such as a poller, or a nap space laying in the grass below the canopy of a tree.
Halo can be easily erected and disassembled from a kit of parts. At first, thin steel tubes are plugged together with corner pieces forming a rigid lightweight frame. In a second step, a roll of mirror film is wrapped around the frame. One can enter halo by lifting the film off the frame at one end.