Today London saw the opening of the Jellyfish Theatre, a remarkable new performance venue made entirely from donated, free and recycled materials. Reused shipping pallets, recycled nails, old school furniture, and donated wood scraps have been used to construct this organic 120-seat temporary auditorium, which is located a mere 10 minutes' walk from the Globe Theatre on the banks of the Thames. While some see the Jellyfish Theatre as "junkitecture" others see the handmade, recycled theatre as a work of art -- read on for a look at London's newest performance space and tell us your take in the comments!
The Jellyfish Theatre opens today with an eco-themed play called Oikos (pronounced “ee-kos”, the Greek root for economy and ecology) by Simon Wu. The piece will be followed by Protozoa by Kay Adshead. Both plays deal with people rebuilding their lives after an environmental and political catastrophe, which goes along nicely with a building constructed out of found materials. The project is a bit of a warning against uncertain times and even an example of what we might have to resort to for future architecture.
Over 800 shipping pallets and 750 sq meters of plywood and other material were donated to construct the theatre. Old-school furniture serves as the seats inside the auditorium, and reused five-gallon water jugs are stacked together to form the wall of the lounge. Pallets, which came from the nearby Covent Gardent market, were stacked and hung vertically, while plywood covers the walls, roof and floors. Although the materials may have started out as junk, when you reuse them, they are no longer junk – they become useful building materials.
The idea for the recycled pallet theatre sprung from the minds of the Red Room’s artistic director, Topher Campbell, and its producer, Bryan Savery two years ago. Martin Kaltwasser and his wife, Folke Köbberling were brought on to design and construct the theatre, which followed a loosely-definied plan was largely constructed on-the-fly according to whatever materials were available. Volunteer architects, builders and other members of the nearby community have put in over 4,200 hours of work since they started construction nine weeks ago. Although we’ve seen plans for shipping pallet theaters before, the Jellyfish Theatre is the first to be built.
Via The Guardian
photo credits: ©Oikos Project