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Transitional Theatre Space

Part 1 Project 2004
Charlotte Bocci
Muhammad Afif Fathullah
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
The proposal is a ‘transitional rehearsal space’ designed for the actor, no audience.
It combines both the spoken language and written text of theatre, into performance spaces and a library.

The building can alter its architecture in both physical dimension and acoustic operation, adopting a variety of characteristics from dissimilar London Lyric theatres.

Sited in Limehouse, in the hub of a transport zone, access to and through the scheme was an important development.

The building is integrated by an articulated roof system extending from the main ‘performing’ space.
Layered panels mounted on tracks undulate between the top level and the punctuated floor plate, uniting the sky with the ground. Counterweighted by water or motors, panels shift to become walls, walls become floors and floors become stages.

They vary in size and material and transfer location to manipulate alterations of light/dark, shelter, visibility and acoustics; creating flexible workspaces.

Library book panels and acoustic water bags rise and fall in this characteristic nature of motion.

Flickers and moments of activity are reflected out to those beyond the building’s boundary, who become the audience.

The track network accentuates the building’s horizontality, creating a variety of permutations. Offering a layered translating landscape- an instrumental play of moving panels and transitional spaces.

Charlotte Bocci
Muhammad Afif Fathullah

Charlotte Bocci’s project for a “transitional theatre space” was chosen as the nomination for the RIBA bronze medal for it’s inventiveness, careful crafting, representation and resolution which we feel to be most exceptional at this level.

The project inhabits a slither of land in Limehouse and uses the context of the site and its varying forms of transport as a generator for the project involving the pedestrian, cyclist, car, bus, boat and train user.

The program was developed in conversation with a number of working actors where the need for rehearsal space became apparent. The proposal provides a number of rehearsal spaces but no performance space so there is no traditional audience the site context provides the audience.

Through Charlottes invention and artistry the main rehearsal space can be altered to mimic any number of spatial or acoustic conditions, the space can capture the essence of any number of west end or fringe theatres. This is accomplished through the manipulation of both the roof scape and a number of water bladders and reservoirs.

Overall an extremely intelligent and elegant proposal.


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