We’ve seen shipping containers repurposed into everything from homes to museums, but ScottWhitbyStudio’s recent cargotecture creation marks the first pop-up cinema that we’ve heard of. The London-based architecture and creative consultancy converted a single container into Caution Cinema, an immersive and funky movie theater as part of the ‘Beyond Zero’ health and safety campaign. The mobile cinema plays instructional videos to promote vital dockside safety information to port employees up and down the country.
Working together with a major UK port operator, ScottWhitbyStudio was asked to create an engaging pop-up cinema that provided an immersive viewing experience that would block out the hectic and noisy port surroundings. In choosing the commonly found shipping container as the cinema structure, the designers introduced an element of surprise by dramatically transforming the windowless container interior into a “dark and mysterious realm, which challenged expectations.” Attendees to the Caution Cinema enter via a disorienting zigzagging path to the cinema, where all external light and sound are blocked out.
“Using this multi-sensory experience, visitors are forced to take extra care and to proceed with caution—as promoted by the safety campaign,” write the architects. “It is hoped that the memory of this multi-sensory experience and intervention will be embed[ded] in the user’s memory for a long time to come.” All internal surfaces, from the entrance path to the cinema and seating, are clad in over a thousand pyramidal acoustic foam pieces laid out in a checkered pattern of black, blue, and red. The resilient foam pyramids create a soundless chamber so that attendees can focus on the video presentation without external distraction.
Images via ScottWhitbyStudio © Osman Marfo-Gyasi