Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Boathouse Performance Cafe Design

Designing a cafe in a boatshed based on the works by Romeo Castellucci and his theatre company. An interesting but difficult concept to grasp and come up with something that could justify and compliment his ideas whilst making it a space somewhere functional that people would actually enjoy to come and have a cup of coffee in. 

What could I extract from this controversial, over-the-top man who puts a baby on a stage and leaves it to cry in front of the audience. And dogs attacking him on stage. And dropping cars onto the stage. And breaking the back wall of the theatre to expose the street behind. What an intriguing, thought-provoking and extraordinary experience to be remembered for life.

But how can I use this in a cafe built into the confinements of one 5metre wide boatshed? Castellucci creates a sense of reality vs unreality, which is misconceiving and evoking this confusion and interest. The audience are forced to interact with the performance through material, or the set designed in such a way it overtakes the whole theatre, therefore the audience too.

Concentrating on questioning real space against 'unreal' space, I have experimented with light and rays of light that can create an interior space without being inside the lines of what 'interior' suggests. The concept influences the materials I have decided to use, for example using reflective materials including glass, and the water already situated at Oriental Bay Boathouses. Castellucci also uses copper from time to time in his performance designs to create distorted but beautiful images.

In the programme of a cafe/bar these ideas encouraged me to focus on the ritual of buying a coffee or cocktail and how we do this without paying much attention to the art of it, we simply question the moment after we take the first sip, quick enough to complain if it isn't up to our standard. In my cafe design, I intend to create this as a focal point, forcing the customer to survey how this ritual is performed, therefore creating a performance of the activity itself.

So far here are some concept ideas I intend to inhabit my space.