Saturday, May 30, 2009
Theatre-Mur Island, Graz, Austria | Acconci Studio
Site: A river that runs through the city
Materials: Steel, glass, rubber, asphalt, water, light
Area: 10,310 sqft
Engineers: Zenckner & Handl; Kurt Kratzer
Project: A twist in the river, a node in the river, a circulation-route in the middle of the river. The circulation-route is an island; the island is a dome that morphs into a bowl that morphs into a dome.
The bowl functions as a theater; the inside of the bowl is lined with bleachers – transparent bleachers, made of grating or perforated metal – that step down to a stage at the bottom of the bowl. When the bowl is not being used as a theater, it functions as a public space, a plaza, in the middle of the river; each line of bleachers waves in and out, it expands and contracts – instead of sitting straight ahead, facing front, you can sit face-to-face, for everyday conversation.
The dome functions as a café/restaurant. You enter from above, onto a terrace, or from below, into the restaurant/bar. A canopy above the downstairs entrance twists down to make lounge seats around the edge of the dome. Curved triangular tables can be used separately, for two people, or joined together, as tables for four or six or eight; curved triangular seats can be placed around the table, or joined with the fixed seating around the perimeter. The rubber edge of the terrace above twists down to make multiple bar counters, at different heights. Behind the bar, the wall is sucked in to make shelves for bottles, and for a cash register. Above, the perimeter of the terrace is made of tables and seats that swirl back into the interior. Water pours down the shell of the dome, into the river; up on the terrace, you sit closer to the waterfall over the dome.
Acconci Studio Website