Laura Petruskeviciute Paulina Naruseviciute URBAN RESTART
22900 MArch Advanced Architecture University of Strathclyde Tutor Dr. Cristian Suau
2015, August 24 Glasgow BARRAS edition
cinema PNEUMATICA THE SPACE FOR IMAGINATION*
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR BUILDING WEIGH? Buckminster fuller
acknowledgements We are particular gratefull for the assistance and support given by our tutor Dr Cristian Suau MOBILELAND and Glasgow Project Office coordinator. Also would like to thank Norrie Innes and Barras Art and Design centre staff who greately offered their support to organise cinema Pneumatica. Furthermore, special thanks to our friends Karolina Petruskeviciute, Titas Grikevicius and Aurora Tallan, who dedicated their time to help us to prepare and set up the event.
content 4 pre-story 5 intro 8 pneumatics-air thin structures 12 cinematic architecture : ‘‘only what is absent can be imagined’’ 22 guides: construct and animate CINEMA PNEUMATICA 35 inflatable moment: the cinematic cloud lands in barras 40 cinema PNEUMATICA: present and future review
TODAY IN THE NEWS: HOW TO FIT 150m3 in 1m3
All publications can be found here: http://issuu.com/paulina.naruseviciute http://issuu.com/laurapetruskeviciute
2014| Empower The disused: temporary use recipes for Kaunas Dissertation by Paulina Naruseviciute
2015|Semester 1: Glasgow Atlas of Vacancy Pg.Dip thesis by Laura Petruskeviciute and Paulina Naruseviciute
2015|Semester 2: Workshop On Water Pg.Dip thesis by Laura Petruskeviciute and Paulina Naruseviciute
The paper looks at the temporary urbanism as a catalyst for urban development. The research proves that collaboration of all parties and systematic approach is essential for interim use to fluorish and bring benefits to the city.
The problem we have raised in our Pg.dip thesis was the emptiness and vacancy of spaces around the city of Glasgow.
This half a year we have been imagining the use of our tools and introduced ‘WOW’ Workshop on water. WOW (Workshop On Water) is an instrument to reactivate vacant and derelict land, the school which plants a seed for temporary architecture culture in Glasgow.
2014| Up-cycling space: Dissertation by Laura Petruskeviciute 2014
Who owns the land? Whose responsibility is to improve our environment which some of us live nearby, walk by, play?
Neglected and abandoned spaces expose the problems of poverty, health, poor children play areas, security and crime. We came up with the tools of enabling people to edit their environment: “How to spot my 20 sqm”- the number of 20 sqm was based on the ratio of derelict & vacant land and population in Glasgow. The guide offer a directions what to do when you see the ‘forgotten’ land and want to use it for a while. ‘Harvest Map’ - a digital tool to allow people to see the available cheap or free materials in the area which could be reused, upcycled in order to encourage people use them for temporary space activation projects. “Trap the Gap” was an urban game which summarized our research into the game based on real facts in temporary urbanism. The research aims to emphasize the potential of the abundance of waste (meaning wasted space, social interaction and physical materials) which can be reinvigorated through architectural intervention. Upcycling space illustrates the idea of residual space being reactivated which than can act as a trigger for social capital and discarded materials regeneration. 4
The starting point of the WOW is Forth & Clyde canal (Glasgow Branch) which previously was highly industrial and now there are vast areas of the land left vacant. Water allows the school move freely from one place to another in order to activate bigger area faster. WOW units sit on the canal based on intensive functional uses in the area and their influence zones defined according to Voronoi diagram. The usage influence zone, topographical conditions and accessibility defines units’ locations (stop points) on the canal. The units structure is based on modular pieces which are easy to construct and can be prefabricated off site. This allows WoW to work in other cities and countries too. The facade can be picked from the facade library- Harvest Map. Facade materials are recyclables and upcycled waste or industrial products. For WoW to work in full power and programme the digital management and control system is created which allows people to book units for certain events as well as feed in information about available physical and digital resources and existing collaborative networks. WoW prescribed plan is 5 years after which temporary use should be integrated and be a part of permanent planning. Furthermore, the mobile units stays and promotes selforganised DIY spaces culture. The Floating school moves to other canal/ river in other city or country.
intro This semester we are expanding our research in the creation of DIY spaces which are low budget and easy to build. We introduce the project “Cinema Pneumatica” . To start with, the project responds to the first phase of [WOW] Workshop On Water 5 years plan: Raising Awareness and exposing the neglected environments . “Cinema pneumatica” is a mobile inflatable pavilion where people instead of watching a movie in a conventional manner becomes the scene of the cinematic spectacle. There are multiple projection surfaces with different textures and material properties which allows the images to materialize in many layers. Furthermore, bodies of the visitors interact with light and projections creating constantly changing patterns and scenarios. Cinema PNEUMATICA is the project about air, light and motion in architecture. In architecture which leaves a static presence
and permanence behind. We are interested in spaces and places which trigger emotions and leave room for imagination. Vacant and derelict spaces are one of those. Those spaces are in absence and absence is the moment when imagination can be expanded. Therefore, the pavilion is situated on the ‘forgotten’ land and invites to celebrate the vacant space, the moment and the unexpected temporary encounter. We seek to create a situation of enstrangement as well as to provide a soft and adventurous space to experience individual psychogeographies. Emotions here are stimulated through sound, light and kinetic movement. The design seeks to use as less as possible typical architectural heavy materials in order to create social & emotional space. Fabrics were picked in order to achieve ergonomics, mobility and lighteness factor. As easy transportation, quick construction and disassembly on site appeared to be the main issue in creation on temporary spaces. Furthermore, fabric is easy and inspiring material to work with having
a limited budget, offering opportunities to play with shape, light, translucency, vibration and reflection. Cinema Pneumatica consists of two bubbles , one embedded into another. The skin of the outer bubble offers lighteness throughout the day and prjection place during the night. It is made out of polythene sheet. The inner bubble offers the dark space, where projections could happen during the day as well. It is made out of silver reflecting sheeting which gives expanded and decomposed view of the video making the whole space to feel as the projection. We also provide the instructions of making the “Cinema Pneumatica” with the budget of around £200.
cinema PNEUMATICA at night (Source: Aurora Tallan, 2015) 5
TO THINK 8 Pneumatics – Air Thin Structures 12 cinematic architecture : ‘‘only what is absent can be imagined’’
Pneumatics – Air Thin Structures Essay by Laura Petruskeviciute
The word pneumatic is derived from the Greek word pneuma2 which means breath of air thus these are the structures supported by air. These structures has been used by mankind since Assyrian times3 though in building technology it is introduced less than in hundred years when Walter Bird was commissioned by US air force to design Radome-a shelter to house radar antenna (1948). Essentially, pneumatic construction is a support system consisting of membrane that is supported by air pressure and thus prestressed. In pneumatic constructions, pressure differences between the enclosed space and the exterior are responsible for giving the building its shape and also for stabilizing the hull. It was clearly seen during the inflation process of “cinemaPNEUMATICA” when the strong gust of wind increased the external pressure and blew the whole structure inside out.(fig.2) However, after filling the whole internal volume tightly with air, structure became stable. Air control in order to keep the right air pressure internally was the biggest challenge especially when visitors were going in and out causing deflation of structure. This mistake could be fixed by creating Fig.2 Increased external pressure caused unstable behaviour of membrane (Source: author)
Fig.1 Soap bubble-concept image (source: author) “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person”. (Genesis, 2:7) Inspiration is an intangible asset which is strived for by every creative person as a starting point for new piece of work. Its etymologic meaning comes from Latin word inspirare- which literally means ‘act of inhaling’1. In other words, to inspire means to breathe in or to capture air. Nothing but air is needed to breathe life into all forms of pneumatic structures. In fact, air structures are the lightest of all constructions so far developed and with its inherent properties its application is ranging in diverse fields from space exploration to fashion design. Pneumatic construction was chosen for “cinemaPNEUMATICA” project not only with aim to create inspiring space which allows user to gain sensorial experience but mostly because of its embodied properties such as portability, accessibility, unconventionality, and high-strength to weightratio. These properties were explored and developed by most notable engineers such as Walter Bird, Frei Otto and Buchminster Fuller who shared the same notion of believing in new technology and the pursuit of structural efficiency. Inflatable structures was an inspiration source for those who found traditional architecture too rigid, permanent, immobile and expensive. Especially, it was popular in revolutionary sixties were inflatable structures became rather as an accessible and effective medium to communicate ideas. Many interesting projects were created at that time by artists and architects such as Aint Farm, Haus-RuckerCo, Archigram, Graham Stevens and many others. Air thin structures is a fascinating idea, but how does it work? “cinemaPNEUMATICA” served as life built DIY prototype allowing to explore and understand the constrains and benefits of pneumatic construction.
1 Online Etymology Dictionary Available at: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=inspirationIt [Last Accessed in 8/10/2015]
Fig.3 Fully inflated volume is able to resist external forces (Source: Author)
airlock door as they do not allow any air to escape from the structure minimizing the chances of having an unevenly pressurized environment. The primary types of pneumatic structures can be classified as air supported structures and air inflated structures. First type is air halls which consist of single membrane supported by internal pressure higher than atmospheric pressure. (fig.4) To this type of structure air must be supplied constantly due to continuous air leakage. However, this type is Fig.4 air supported structure (Source: Author)
2 Online Etymology Dictionary Available at: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&sear ch=pneuma&searchmode=none [Last Accessed in 8/10/2015] 3 It is captured in Ancient reliefs that Assyrians worrios used air filled goat skins in order to keep themselves afloat in the water. Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.
Fig.5 air inflated structure (source: author)
often chosen as building structure due to its relatively low cost and its simplicity of design and fabrication. Second type is air inflated structures– it is supported by pressurized air contained within inflated building element. (fig.5 The pressurized air in the pillow is only to stabilize the load carrying membrane also the covered space is not pressurized. The challenge of “cinemaPNEUMATICA” was to monitor two air halls – where bigger dome contained a smaller one while using only one point of air source. After inflating outer dome air source was directly connected to inner dome. Once it got also inflated the constant excess of air flew through vents to the bigger dome boosting it with extra air, lost through
Fig.6 cinema Pneumatica : two air halls system (source: Author) leakage. (fig. 6) Continual manual air control was needed to ensure both environments are under the right air pressure. However, in real building industry structure pressure would be controlled through mechanical sensor system. The pneumatic system consists of few main components which are envelope, pumping equipment, entrance doors and foundations. Envelope materials are usually synthetic fabrics with coating to prevent from weakening. It is also essential that these materials meet the requirements for tensile strength, tear resistance, suitability for jointing and weathering resistance while remaining light weight. However, first pneumatic structure- air balloon, was made out of linen and paper4 in 18th century by Montgolfier brothers. Only after invention of nylon inflatable structures were highly used and developed during World War II for military operations as emergency shelters and dummy’s. (fig. 7)5 No other construction type but only inflatable structures could Fig.7 This rubber inflatbale tank was in britain during world war ii as an effective and lightweight decoy (Source:
fulfill the warfare requirements such as: “A: They must be full size and normally camouflaged, B: They must be mobile and capable of being reestablished at fresh sites within few hours, and C: The dummy aircraft ought not to require much military transport to move them and very little labor to dismantle or erect them at the fresh site, as there is likely to be a shortage of both during moving warfare.” An amazing amount of pneumatic trucks, tanks, seaborne and variety of aircraftpieces were developed during that time. However, suitable fabric for pneumatic building structure was released by Walter Bird and his team after spending years in developing technology of pneumatics. Birdair revealed hundreds of possibilities where pneumatic structure can be applied, especially where was a need for wide-spanning, column-free enclosures. It offered wide range of applications such as military uses, sport, agriculture, commercial exhibits and recreational facilities. In today’s building sector all envelope materials, depending on application, must satisfy requirements such as translucence or opacity, pliability and fire resistance. The most common envelope materials are: fiberglass, polyester, ETFE and nylon. Fiberglass- it is the most common material for permanent structures as it has high tensile strength, elastic behavior and durability. Extra coating of Teflon (PTFE) increases its resistance to extreme temperatures an UV radiation. Polyester: is often used for smaller structures because of its tensile strength, durability, and cost. The PVC coating provides weathering and fire resistance. ETFE: it is a new material used for pneumatic structures such as N.Grimshaw and Partners, Eden Project. It is highly energy efficient system because of transparency, insulation, UV and resistance. It is also light weight and is completely recyclable. Nylon: can be used for smaller structures. Vinyl coated nylon has more strength, durability and stretch, but also is more expensive. “cinemaPNEUMATICA” materiality consists of three different polyester films. Clear polythene sheet was used to create outer dome shell, whereas internal dome was made of silver mylar- metalized polyester. Industrial heavy duty polythene sheeting was used for main dome base due to its ability to resist tearing. In building industry the most common method of joining the fabric is the standard lap joint. The two pieces of fabric are overlapped by approximately 8 cm and Teflon FEP (fluorinated ethylene-propylene) film is inserted between them. Then, the joint is heat welded together. This method creates strong, water and airtight joint. However, due to its simplicity and DIY nature the fabric joining material in ‘cinemaPNEUMATICA’ comprised of two type tapes: duct tape and clear tape. Another very important element in pneumatic structures is foundation or anchoring points. The characteristic and type of foundation is determined by weight of material and expected wind loads. Usually for smaller scale Fig.8 Graham Stevens Hovertube Project (source: Will Mclean
2014 ‘ Pneumatic Structures’ The Architectural Review . Issue number 1406, April, 2014, Volume CCXXXV: 104)
Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures )
4 Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. 5 Sean Topham (2002) Blow-up: Inflatable Art, Architecture and Design. Austria: Prestel p.39
structures ballasts could be sand bags, concrete blocks, bricks or water. These ballasts must be placed around the perimeter of the structure in order to distribute evenly the load. The biggest advantages of pneumatic structures is lightness. The weight of structure as compared to its covered area is very little. Moreover, another important characteristic of pneumatics over other construction types is its possibility to span large distances. Graham Stevens in 1970 created spectacular quarter mile long prototype called Hovertube Project, which allowed people to walk directly on water.(fig. 8) This structural parameter also generated an utopian proposal by Frei Otto and Arup called ‘City in Antarctica’ (1971). (Fig. 9) It was a pneumatic
Fig.9 utopinan “City in antarctica” 2km diamter pneumatic dome dome spanning 2 km covering residential town.6 If talking about domes- dome is half a sphere and is the most structurally efficient shape allowing best volume to surface area and space free of columns. Buckminster Fuller developed geodesic domes which allowed an efficient and extremely low weight construction. “By enlarging the sphere to nearly one kilometer in diameter, Fuller believed that the ratio of structural weight to enclosed air volume would become negligible and
tetrafluooethylene ) cushions. One of these pillows weight less than one percent glass panel of the same size.9 Also it is much stronger than glass and has great insulation properties. “cinemaPNEUMATICA” proofed to be very compact and mobile solution. Answer to Buckminster Fuller question: ‘‘How much does your building weigh?”10 , can be illustrated by presenting structural capability of cinemaPNEUMATICA to provide 150m3 of space while inflated thus deflated fits in 1m3. Pneumatic dome construction in “cinemaPNEUMATICA” increased the structural efficiency by 150 times. (Fig.12) In addition, pneumatic structures are quick for erection and dismantling. It took less than 10 minutes to erect “cinemaPNEUMATICA” which covers 50m2 surface area. Pneumatic structure technology is also used for packaging as a lightweight and compact way to deliver diversity liquids and gases. (Fig .13)11 Other positive features of pneumatic structures are that they are entirely prefabricated which results in high- level of portability and rapid assembly. However, in most cases these structures needs continuous maintenance to ensure sufficient air pressure also poor fire resistance and acoustic insulation might be downside of the system. Fig.13 Chinese farmers carry back to their homes massive plastic bags filled with natural gass stolen from wells. They use the gas for cooking and heating, causing annual losses of more than 20 million yuan (5 million guilders) to the oil companies. (source: Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures)
Inflatable technology has developed a lot since it was first introduced in building sector in late 40’s. Mainly it evolved through invention and development of new envelope materials. Pneumatics design should be considered as an alternative construction in any situation where rigid and heavy fabrics continue to fail. Pneumatic design offers not only lightweight, portable and cost effective approach but also it offers unconventional space experience.
Fig.10 In 1950, Fuller proposed a two-mile diameter dome or ‘bubble’ over midManhattan to obviate expensive heating and cooling across the city and that, he claimed, would have paid for itself in 10 years.(source:Quaderns d’arquitectura i urbanisme) the warming effect of the sun upon the enclosed air would be sufficient to allow the sphere to rise like a cloud.”7 (Fig. 10) Buckminster Fuller inspiration source grounded in nature. In ‘The World of Buckminster Fuller’8 he shares his fascination on water bubbles- little spheres supported by air. Fuller was challenging architects to consider how efficiently materials were used for space enclosure. Probably, Fullers belief in energy efficient structure is realized today while using inflatable technology in the project known as Eden Project. (Fig. 11) This scheme consists of giant geodesic domes covered with ETFE (ethyl 6 Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch (1996 ) Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Deutscher Werkbund Bayern. p 120 7 M. Pawley, Buckminster Fuller, Grafton London, pp.155-157, 1992 8 A film by Robert Snyder ‘The World of Buckminster Fuller’
The lesson of “cinemaPNEUMATICA” reveals general principles and behavior of air supported pneumatic construction. Being a temporary DIY structure design is cost-effective, low-tech, quickly fabricated and can be erected or dismantled in a matter of minutes. The simplicity of design and technology makes “cinemaPNEUMATICA” design accessible to everyone who follows the instructions. This technology was chosen over timber structure as being more efficient and effective. “cinemaPNEUMATICA” prototype can be also easily made out of packaging industry waste which makes it environmentally friendly structure. Its application can vary from pop-up cinema space to workshops/gathering place. Arthur Quarmby notes : “ Pneumatics are the most important discovery ever made in architecture; that they can free the living environment from the constrains that have bound it since history began and that they can in consequence play immeasurable part in development of our society.”12
9 Sean Topham (2002) Blow-up: Inflatable Art, Architecture and Design. Austria: Prestel 10 Thomas T.K. Zung, Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millennium (2001)5 11 Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. 12 Sean Topham (2002) Blow-up: Inflatable Art, Architecture and Design. Austria: Prestel p.150
Fig.11 Nicolas Grimshaw and partners,eden project geodesic dome sheels covered with etfe cushions (Source: Jürgen Matern©)
REFERENCES: Online Online Etymology Dictionary Available at: http://www.etymonline.com [Last Accessed 8/10/2015] Books Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hinte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch (1996 ) Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal. Deutscher Werkbund Bayern. M. Pawley, Buckminster Fuller, Grafton London, pp.155-157, 1992 Will Mclean 2014 ‘ Pneumatic Structures’ The Architectural Review . Issue number 1406, April, 2014, Volume CCXXXV: 104 Sean Topham (2002) Blow-up: Inflatable Art, Architecture and Design. Austria: Prestel
List of figures: Fig. 1 Author’s image Fig. 2 Author’s image Fig. 3 Author’s image Fig. 4 Author’s image Fig. 5 Author’s image Fig. 6 Author’s image Fig. 7 Sean Topham (2002) Blow-up: Inflatable Art, Architecture and Design. Austria: Prestel p.39 Fig. 8 Will Mclean 2014 ‘ Pneumatic Structures’ The Architectural Review . Issue number 1406, April, 2014, Volume CCXXXV: 104 Fig. 9 http://arqueologiadelfuturo.blogspot.com.es/2011/02/la-ley-decierre-entornos-hostiles-i.html [Last Accessed 8/10/2015] Fig. 10 http://www.raco.cat/index.php/QuadernsArquitecturaUrbanisme/ article/view/238936/349735 [Last Accessed 8/10/2015] Fig. 11 Jürgen Matern© Fig. 12 Authors image Fig. 13 Adriaan Beukers; Ed van Hiwnte (2005) Lightness : the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.
Thomas T.K. Zung, Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millennium (2001)5 Films A film by Robert Snyder ‘The World of Buckminster Fuller’
Fig.12 CINEMA PNEUMATICA INFLATED OCUPIES 150M3 THOUGH DIFLATED IS ONLY 1M3! SUPER MOBILE & PORTABLE STRUCTURE!
(Source: Paulina Naruseviciute)
‘‘only what is absent can be imagined’’ MARCEL PROUST
(Source: Titas Grikevicius)
â€œThere is no way to perform architecture in a book. Words and drawings can only produce paper space, not the experience of real space. By definition, paper space is imaginary: it is an image. â€œ BERNARD TSCHUMI
cinematic architecture : ‘‘only what is absent can be imagined’’ Essay by Paulina Naruseviciute
Derelict and vacant landscapes, consequently, the absence and associative problems found there was our primary issue we were discussing about in our Pg. Dip thesis. However, the examples of such cities as Berlin and Amsterdam, show that these spaces should be manifested as places for new opportunities and ground for experimentation. Referring to Marcel Proust “only which is absent can be imagined”. In other words, ‘absent’ is the moment when you need to expand your imagination. In our case, ‘absence’ is the non-existence of activity and usage of the space. Therefore, we propose architecture without static presence and permanence which first of all seek to engage, attract people and expand their imagination.
The materials of film are called memory, light, shadow, duration, dynamic and so on. Why not using these materials in architecture just like any other material – or ingredient? Pascal Schoning
Cinema PNEUMATICA is addressing several topics of architecture. One, already presented,-pneumatics, past and future. The other- cinematic architecture: its ideological goals and use will be discussed in this article. Another topic, temporary architecture covers both of the mentioned themes, as time here creates the motion, the process and the narrative. Temporary architecture in a way becomes more cinematic as the action here is fast-forwarded. Cinematic Architecture - two words which contradict each other. Cinematics talks about light, motion and scenario, while architecture is understood as static, more confronted to permanence. In the end, it is simply described as an apparatus for organizing bodies in space. However, previously mentioned cinematographer’s tools to create unbuilt environment can complement and enrich built environment. For architectural theorist Pascal Schöning1, who has been running the cinematic architecture course in Architectural Association 1983-2008, cinematic architecture is a loose methodology which encourages people to think about architecture as essentially concerned with space and the events that occur in it over time, rather than a discipline concerned with physical buildings and materials. Consequently, his taught unit expanded not only the techniques but also the list of materials that are used in conventional architecture. The materials of film are called memory, light, shadow, duration, dynamic and so on. He suggested to use these materials in architecture just like any other material – or ingredient. While cinema PNEUMATICA is an example of temporary architecture with a loose built form, cinematic aspect is very important for the project. We aim to fulfil the function of activation, not just through creating an indoor space but creating the ultimate action in the limited time and exposing the capabilities of materials used in the structure. Therefore, we use natural and synthetic light here as the animator as well as external and pre-planned sounds, kinetic movement of the façade and motion created by movement of people. These are packed into 20 min spectacle to breath in a new life in the exiting place, create memory for the people and expand their imagination.
Sound as three-dimensional space How does the sound refer to architecture? Trained as an architect and landscape architect, sound artist from Germany Nicolai Carsten in his interview says that architecture defines space and creates social spaces , which consequently means that the main elements are three-dimensions, time and social aspects. Same three aspects can be covered in sound. You can build physical walls, walls you don’t see but you experience, even if it is not visible but you understand it as a real material. Nicolai Carsten being at the same time scientist and musician make nature’s hidden mechanisms and principles visible to visualise sound, he unravels frequencies, dissect visual stimuli, or tries to capture sound2. One of his largest in terms of scale work called ‘ α (alpha) pulse’ was presented during Art Basel Hong Kong 2014. “α (alpha) pulse’s generated light patterns pulsated in a synchronized frequency across the entire façade of Hong Kong’s iconic 490 meter high International Commerce Centre on the Kowloon harbour front. Like a 1 article refering to Pascal Schöning, Cinematic Architecture / AA Publications, 2010 http://doesinger.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/cinematic-architecture-aa-publications. html [Accessed 24.August 2015} 2 Carsten Nicolai, ‘audio visual spaces’ (exhibition catalogue, s.m.a.k., gent, belgium, 2005)
lighthouse, the tower was sending its pulses into the city, reaching out to Hong Kong residents and visitors. α (alpha) pulse is an experimental construction that looks at the eﬀects of audiovisual stimulation on the human perception. In accordance with scientific research, the work is based on the principles of neural feedback on pulsating light sources. Visible from numerous locations across Hong Kong and accessible via mobile device app, α (alpha) pulse could be experienced by people all over the city. Designed by Nicolai, the app provided the audio for the installation and responded to the light display on the ICC, adding another layer to the installation.“3 The work covers many subjects: science, music, technology, art, architecture.. Urban scale here is very important as the work itself talks about the system science, feedback, reaction and connectivity. Anyone who is not necessarily interested in the event could experience and intervene the performance. Furthermore, work talks about light as a primary city ingredient. Similarly, what Venturi „learns from Las Vegas‘ the installation reveals that impression of the city is pretty much defined by the light sources which were not originally installed by the architects or planners, but basically from advertisements or additional light sources. It has a huge influence of how you perceive the city. Also such lights create city specific iconography.
Ingredient-Light and motion architecture Light is what gives architecture a life. As Peter Zumthor says in his book “Atmospheres”(2006), light makes materials endless . However can pure light also create the image of ‘built’ form? Light has been an inspiration for a lot of artists for years who has been exploring its sensorial and physical aspect . One of them is American artist James Turrell who has been working directly with light and space for half a century. He considers sky as his studio, material and canvas. His artworks engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell often cites the Parable of Plato’s Cave to introduce the notion that we are living in a reality of our own creation, subject to our human sensory limitations as well as contextual and cultural norms. He says, 3 Artist’s website, http://www.carstennicolai.de/?c=works&w=alpha_pulse [Accessed: 24 August 2015].
“My work has no object, no image and no focus. With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.”4 The other artist who is famous for his ‘solid-light’ installations is Anthony McCall . The series of sculptures he began in 1973 with his Line Describing a Cone, in which a volumetric form composed of projected light slowly evolves in three-dimensional space developed in his other projects were light is a primary tool for his art. “5 min of pure sculpture” (Fig 14) has been presented in Nationalgalerie im hamburger bahnhof in Berlin, 2012. During the exhibition a viewer wanders through five single and two double projections space which is filled with the luminescent, kinetic sculptures. Light beams covered in a thin moving layer of haze creates hypnotising “walls”. The space created by the sculptures is purely magnificent and each sculpture seems unrepeatable as smokes running through the light are constantly creating diﬀerent patterns. The light ‘walls’ seems very realistic but are broken up by the viewers touch.
Fig 14 Anthony McCall, 5 minutes of Pure Sculpture, Berlin ( SOURCE:AUTHOR, 2012) Jeﬀrey Shaw is another artists who has been involved in cinematography. He is famous for pioneering the use of digital media within virtual, cinematographic, interactive and expanded environments. One of his work, which “cinema Pneumatica” is referring to, is “Movie Movie”, 1967 in Belgium . The artist created the inflatable pavilion which was animated by three performers (Jeﬀrey Shaw, Theo Botschuijver, Sean Wellesley-Miller) who brought in the inflatable structure and unrolled it on the floor. While the pavilion was gradually inflated, film slides and liquid-light show eﬀects were projected onto the surface. The inflatable was a form of the cone with an outer transparent membrane and an inner white surface. The pavilion was animated and various material actions were performed when white balloons and smokes were injected into the air structure. The intention of the artist work was to transform the typical cinema projection screen into three-dimensional kinetic and architectural space of visualization.5 Given examples illustrates how the light can create and be used as a threedimensional space. Furthermore, light is incredibly powerful material to work with and it is extremely engaging for the viewers. Kinetics in architecture Fabrics has a feature of being flexible and adaptive to the shape, responsive to heat and moving with wind. It feels more natural as most of the natural forms have no sharp edges. However, talking about unbuilt architecture, good example is “Blur building” (Fig 15) by Diller Scofidio and Renfro. In general the studio work was famous in exploring architecture found in non- built environment. From 1999-2004 the MacArthur Foundation honored the firm’s work with the ‘genius’ award’ stating that Diller Scofidio + Renfro “have created an alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism. Their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.”6
4 Artist’s website, http://jamesturrell.com/about/introduction/ [Accessed: 24 August 2015]. 5 Jeffrey Shaw , “Jeffrey Shaw : A user’s manual. From Expanded Cinema to Virtual Reality,” Ostfildern Cantz : Edition ZKM, 1997, pp. 70f.) 6 MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1999, July 1, 1999, https://www.macfound. org/fellows/622/ [Accessed: 24 August 2015].
FIg 15 aerial view of the ‘blur building’ on lake neuchatel BY Diller Scofidio + Renfro, (Source: Architect’s Website) The Blur Building was a temporary media pavilion built for the 2002 Swiss Expo in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. The system of rectilinear struts and diagonal rods cantilevered over the Lake Neuchatel. The rods were fitted with fog nozzles which were shooting a mist pulled from the lake. The Mist was controlled with a complex weather system. The fog created a giant man-made cloud which was the illusion of a vapour building measuring 300 ft. wide and 65 ft. high. Before walking to the ‚centre‘ of the building, visitors were given a personality test and ‚braincoats‘. ‚Braincoat‘ is a raincoat which was able to store all the data collected by the test and to create wearer‘s profile. The cloud‘s computer network was capable to identify the profile. As visitors arrived to the cloud and when they used to pass each other the raincoats used to change the colours depending on compatibility. The project was a magnificent and poetic piece of work, both engaging and surprising, artisitic, architectural and scientific.
From “unbuilt” to better built form To sum up, the aim of cinematic architecture is to expand conventional perspectives on architecture. As Pascal Schoning describes, this type of architecture dedicates itself to get a grip on the presence of all dimensions of the city. It calls for new strategies that today seem to be vitally important: strategies that respond to real places, to real people and to real emotions. New architecture is very often detached from the memories the place once stored. We need architecture to help to discover our memories than representing something for us. Cinematic architecture, could help to find the relationship and feel of spaces. However, it stays as an unbuilt and theoretical form of perceiving architecture. Cinema PNEUMATICA covers few points as overall beside the pneumatic structure, its ‘magic’ secrets are in sound, lights and movement it unfolds. The smokes in the end of the last session, created the thick light beams which visitors were keen to touch. Silver mylar, was reflecting the colours inside the avilion However, it also allowed to see through to the technical room when the light was lit. The constant changing patterns from the projections , shadows and sound enliven the pavilion. It snatched peoples attention easily and invited to wonder around and inside. The materiality of clear polythelene blurred the boundary vetween solid surface, as projection was seen both from the inside and outside. However, the missing point was that projections did not covered the whole sphere. REFERENCES: Online video lectures: AA Conference :What is Cinematic Architecture? Date: 15/5/2009, AA London Available at : http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=1104 [Accessed: 24 August, 2015} Salon | Artist Talk | Carsten Nicolai: α (alpha) pulse , Date: 16/5/ 2014 at Art Basel Hong Kong Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJYppggxQKU&spfreload=10 [Accessed: 24 August, 2015} Books: Lovett, S. , Stickells, L ., EXPANDED ARCHITECTURE , (Sydney, N.S.W. : Univ. of Sydney, 2010.) Tschumi, B. Architecture and disjunction, (Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.] MIT Press 1999) Shaw, J. , “Jeffrey Shaw : A user’s manual. From Expanded Cinema to Virtual Reality,” (Ostfildern Cantz : Edition ZKM, 1997)
visualising the structure of the bubble, ink & soup water bubble on paper, (Drawing by Paulina Naruseviciute)
(Source: Paulina Naruseviciute)
“I cannot do building without building a new repertoire of characters of stories or language and it’s all parallel. Its not building per se, it’s building worlds” JOHN HEJDUK
(Source: Laura Petruskeviciute)
Building a world of light, shadows and reflections. (shots taken during last test before event) (Source: Paulina Naruseviciute)
stop motion. colours of the silver pavilion. (Source: Paulina Naruseviciute)
stop motion. colours of the silver pavilion. (Source: Paulina Naruseviciute)
My work has no object, no image and no focus. With no object, no image and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.â€? JAMES TURRELL
TO Make 22 instructions for DIY cinema PNEUMATICA 30 technical guide
1 2 3 ACTION!
setting up cinema PNEUMATICA : Bring the pavilion out, keep the sandbags and fan rain protection close , so they can be used immediately.
First, MAke sure the generator is in the rain protected place and it’s clearly indicated that any visitors have to keep away from this area. fan box also has to be fixed in place with sandbags . We used heavy blockwork. warning: the wind will toss the pavilion,it will be stable once fully inflated.
put extension lead through the fan hole First. Than Fix The fan and inflate!!!
keep the pavilion fully zipped while inflating!
when inflating one person has to go inside and place the sandbags around the perimeter.
Don’t forget ‘keep away’ sticker!
BRING THE SILVER BUBBLE IN AND FIX THE FAN HOLE TO THE FAN.
Small pavilion has two vents indicated in the drawing. During the inflation they are both closed and half opened after inflation is completed.
donâ€™t forget to ventilate!
place one fire extinguisher in a big and one in a small bubble. place first aid kit!
all projectors has to be placed on non- flammable materials!
Bring all the electrical equipment in and set it up in a small bubble.
we placed 3 water buckets
place all the stickers as indicated in the plan.
EXTRA fire protection is always beneficial. have some water nearby!
TECHNICAL GUIDE PLAN 1:100
Moncur Street Calton Entry
SCALE 1:100 30
to activate 35 Inflatable moment : The cinematic cloud lands in Barras! 40 cinema PNEUMATICA: present and future review
InflatablE moment : The cinematic Cloud lands in Barras!
Sequence of the videos shown: 1. Nicolai Carsten Past Present Future 2. ADRIFT, Simon Christen 3. Berndnaut Smilde, Cloud peace 4. Blur Building, Diller + Scofidio 4. Anthony McCall, 5 minutes of pure sculpture 5. James Turell Light installations 6. Ant Farm Land, Space &Time
On Saturday 8th of August the cloud of cinema Pneumatica landed in the historic Barras street market district of Glasgow. Placed in the post industrial setting on the vacant site just next to Barras Art and Design centre it brought cinematic light and life into the area that evening. The site is just 10 min walk away from the city centre, however has a completely different atmosphere. Calton area was the first industrial suburb of the town, known for clay deposits and ironmongery production. Famous Barrowland ballroom originally opened in 1934 situated in front of the site brings nostalgic feelings to old Barras residents.The legendary ballroom reminds the past of dancing and blossoming romances on the so famed Maplewood floor! However, after the de-industrialization the situation has changed. Now Calton area has gained the reputation of being deprived and poor, where is better not to step in at night. However, big changes are coming. Glasgow City Council has now published its spatial strategy to guide the regeneration of Glasgow’s East End.
Preparation in progress, posters up (Source: Aurora Tallan)
The site ‚cinema Pneumatica‘ landed on is under new development which should start in the end of the month. Therefore we were there to celebrate and boost in the freshness. The sun and summery weather greated us in the morning when we pulled the pallets and haybags together and created an external seating area for the visitors. In the evening, the weather dramatically changed: rain and wind met us there when we started to inflate the pavilion. However, it survived and raised up from the ground successfully.
External cinema area out of euro-pallets, and hay bags (Source: Aurora Tallan)
The video sessions started at 9.30 with the theme of „ Intangibles“ . Intangible’ is a series of selected short videos. The videos picture air forms and how they transform the space and create sensorial environments. From the moving clouds, journey of fog above San Francisco to human made clouds and light structures , finishing with the question of „what does an architect do?‘‘raised by 1960s architecture collective „Ant Farm“ . In the meantime, people inside and outside were able to experienced blurred and decomposed view as well as shadows playing around. The transparency of the polyethylene created a magic feeling of lightness and brighteness. In the end of the last film session, the cloud sank into fog and disappeared without trace. External cinema area in the evening (Source: Laura Petruskeviciute)
(Source: Aurora Tallan)
(Source: Titas Grikevicius)
(Source: Titas Grikevicius)
(Source: Aurora Tallan)
(Source: Povilas Sindriunas)
(Source: Titas Grikevicius)
(Source: Titas Grikevicius)
cinema PNEUMATICA: present and future review
(Source: Aurora Tallan)
cinema PNEUMATICA is an example of temporary architecture and temporary occupation of the vacant space. Inflatable structures exist since around 1960s starting with architecture collective Ant Farm and artist Jeffrey Shaw till nowadays as Raumlabor(berlin) , Plastique fantastique(berlin) , ph.loop (london ) and many others are experimenting and playing with the inflatables. The big advantage of the inflatable structure is undoubtedly the cost. For 200 pounds we have achieved the structure of 75sqm which was able to host the sensorial cinema night this August in Glasgow. Furthermore, the durability surprised us the most. The weather conditions on the event day were not the best. Usual rain and wind in Glasgow very often stops off-site events. During the inflation process we have experienced high wind which was tossing the structure and made us feel that the event might not happen. The biggest worry was the joints between the triangles which were bonded with duct tape to be teared apart. Although, it never happened. Once, the structure was fully inflated it was stable and was able to resist the wind and the rain. The lightness of the material makes you feel safe inside, so even when the structure deflated a bit and caught the wind it did not feel dangerous. One visitor mentioned, that the wind allows to feel materiality of the structure and he liked seeing it moving from the inside. Another advantage, is undoubtedly the experience created inside and outside. Cloud looking structure lands as an alien on the vacant land and immediately snatch peopleâ€™s attention. The transparency of the polyethylene blurs and decompose the interior view. The pavilion acts as an instrument to experience the same physical setting in a new way. Furthermore, the projected light mixed with the fog created interactive light beams which people started playing with. Ergonomics, lighteness and easy buildability and movability adds extra bonus points to inflatable pop up structure. As for 200 pounds you can create the space which can fit around 40 people inside . It is 4 m in height and all fits in 1m3. Two people can easily care the pvilion . It fits into car and could be easily transported anywhere. The time of the preparation and dismantlement is around 1 hour and requires 2- 3 people depending on the weather 40
Shorts speaches by Norrie Innes owner of the BAaD and Paulina Naruseviciute & (Source: Aurora Tallan) Laura Petruskeviciute opened the film session
the projected light mixed with the fog created interactive light beams (Source: Aurora Tallan)
conditions as the wind makes it more difficult. Morevor, the structure is also able to provide more functions and act as a workshop, lecture or exhibition space. However, the materials we have built our structure from could be improved , it would add extra cost but it would allow the structure to be reused more times. At the moment, cinema pneumatica has not experienced any big damages, however the stone blocks with raugh edges we carried in due to the weight to keep the pavilion on the ground have caused few scratches in the polythelene sheet. Although, it happened due to our mistake, as we did not have enough sandbags to keep the pavilion stable in place. Looking at what we have learned from our experience and what are the disadvantages of such structure, the first point would be the managment of circulation of air. As the frame of the pavilion fully relies on air, constant movement of people might cause the problem. Therefore, the entry and exit time needs to be well coordinated. The sessions we have organised were more or less successful as we let people to get in at the same time and get out after the session. During the session the entrance was partially closed to keep a constant air pressure inside. We could clearly mark that to manage air pressure in the large bubble was much easier and required less effort, however the small bubble was hard to manage as it inflates and deflates very quickly, so it needs more control from the invigilator. Furthermore, from the design point of view, the idea that small bubble will act as a projection room and all technical equipment will be placed in it as mylar is extra heat resistant and non flammable material, did not work too , again because of the control of the air pressure. Two vents which had to act as a holes for the projectors were too big and bubble was deflating too fast. Smaller holes did not work as the height of the bubble is constantly changing due to the air pressure and than the projections are hidden away. However, other technical equipment were placed in a small bubble and materiality of the mylar created a magical effect when the light was switched on in the end of the film session. As mylar is super reflective but transparent as well visitors were able to see people in the technical room. The silver pavilion was opened to public during the walk around session since the technical equipment was not set up. Despite, the magical look of mylar, the material is fairly noisy when catch the wind or if people inside is moving, therefore the film sessions might be distracted. Another point, we could note is materiality and fire protection. As during the meeting with fire department, we were discouraged to open the bubble for public as polythelene, even if it is recognised as a slow burning (â€žSBâ€œ) material and burns just under the open fire source, it is still not standard material for temporary structures and does not comply with the British Standards. In accordance to the feedback of the fire enforcement officer, we took special precautions. All electrical equipment had a metalic foil base, we had two fire extinguishers in place, sand bags were placed around the perimeter of pavilion and 3 water buckets placed aroud the structure. Furthermore, all invigialtors had cutters in a case of emergency to cut the pavilion and they were constantly supervising electrical equipment. Also we had three first-aiders and 2 licensed security persons on site. Due to this non-standard architectural type of the pavilion we are discouraged to provide bigger public events, even though we have plenty of interest from the public sector. To sum up, the event we had was undoubtedly great opportunity for us to learn real event organization skills and test our theoretical knowledge we have gathered over the past few years while analyzing and researching temporary architecture and urbanism. The first thing, we have accomplished is to attract interest of the private sector. Barras Art and Design Centre has agreed to collaborate with us and give access to their private
site which is currently vacant. This gave us a lot of advantages. On the day , BAaD had an event , therefore we had a security and first aiders which we shared. Furthermore, we had licensed bar and toilets close to the cinema. These are usually missing and adds an extra cost if you are organizing the event on the derelict land. At the same time, our event gave advantage and extra interest in the event happening in BAaD as the people who came in to our event also visited the other event. Therefore, we count cinema PNEUMATICA as a successful example of temporary architecture which shows that limited budget is not a problem and is able to create interesting space and leave new memories for people about the place. Also we were delighted to hear, old residents of the BARRAS enjoying our installation and remembering the times when the East side of Glasgow was full of life young people buzzing around the Barrowlands ballroom. It was great to hear, our project creating conversations and joy.
Although, the biggest problem stays in law, as regulations for temporary non- standard architecture are the same as for permanent, which stops temporary interventions to happen more often. Berlin and Amsterdam have incorporated laws for the loose planning into their legal planning system, should British building regulations change too? We leave this question open.
(Source: Aurora Tallan)
(Source: Povilas Sindriunas)
“If they had to build something, they built something. If it was on paper it was on paper. If it was video, it was video. If it was a guerilla action, it was a guerilla action. It didn’t matter.They didnt say this is not what architect does, they rather asked what does an architect do?” Their goal was to do the ultimate form of architecture which was essentially predicting how society use space, land and time.”
from Beth Federici-Documentary, Space, Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm
Published on Sep 2, 2015
“cinema PNEUMATICA” is a mobile inflatable pavilion where people instead of watching a movie in a conventional manner becomes the scene of t...