Week 5 of CoLab.
After the session during Week 4, in groups, we had to develop the schemes further and generate floor plans, sections and anything else that would communicate our ideas to the other two groups and the tutors.
At the start of the session of Week 5, we had a presentation from Maria Martinez Sanchez about ‘Site-specific performance. Spacial Narrative’. In this presentation, we learned that design is not only about a specific space, but it is also about how a person walks through it, the story that the space should tell. Sanchez introduced us with different types of stages, from the Paris Grand Opera to non-theatrical spaces. The most interesting theatre spaces, in my opinion, were the non-theatrical ones. For example, The Vaults is an incredible, unique venue; before reaching the stage area you have to go through the graffiti tunnels. Because some tunnels around The Vault are still in use, you can sometimes hear a train going through, which adds to the experience.
Punchdrunk is another example of a non-traditional theatre. The performance utilises abandoned places, where you have to walk around and experience the performance, immerse yourself into the adventure.
Maria Martinez Sanchez also talked about transition, and how to achieve that by showing some examples. Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine encapsulates the idea of movement. The gates along the path symbolise the transition from the mundane to sacred.
Another example, MASP by Lina Bo Bardi. She designed a museum and the way that the artwork would be displayed. She wanted the painting to be in a glass case to look like they are floating. It makes the art more accessible and also created a maze-like transition from one piece of art to another.
After the presentation, each group had to present their schemes for everyone. The team that I was in presented first. Our idea focused mostly on ascension and how we could gradually move people up the University of Birmingham dome. We thought of incorporating different chambers that would represent the senes: smell/taste; touch; spatial and balance; ascension; afterlife. Because the whole idea of the CoLab is about Shebensopdet and the afterlife, we wanted to add that to the design; that ‘camber’ would be at the top, surrounded by the windows of the dome, creating a sense of brightness, relief and euphoria.
To better explain our ideas, my team developt a few models, to show how the spaces would work and look.
By Ugne Etneryte (BA (Hons) Architecture)