The project forms part of the Southbank’s Festival of the World, which opens next month. It will see the Lyn Atelier and Studio Tilt coordinate over 200 participants sourced through social media working in disciplines including architecture, design, arts or construction; all of whom will volunteer their time to help assemble the currently disused space.
The approximately 1000m2, two-storey space, which was formerly a store and workshop, will be used as a ‘greenroom’ for artists and staff participating in the Festival of the World.
The festival is inspired by the work and vision of Pierre de Coubertin, the French aristocrat who founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894.
Aiming to highlight the importance of art alongside the importance of sport, The Southbank’s arts programme includes the Hayward Gallery becoming the Wide Open School open access art summer school and a de Coubertin exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall.
Lyn Atelier contacted the Southbank about becoming involved in the project having created the centre’s shipping container staircase at last summer’s Festival of Britain programme. It brought in Studio Tilt to collaborate having worked with the consultancy on previous projects.
Andrew Lock, partner at Lyn Atelier, says, ‘The concept is that the Festival of the World is in-line with the spirit of the Olympics – that everyone comes together through the same metaphorical door and they can hang out in a spirit of togetherness. It’s in that spirit that we’re designing and making the space as a community of artists skill-sharing.’
As well as putting out calls for volunteers on blogs, Twitter and Facebook, Social media is also being harnessed to source materials including wood, paint, bricks and shelving from websites such as Freecycle.
Lock says, ‘For me there’s elements of with the recession and what’s going on in the world that it doesn’t feel right to do fancy detailing – it’s about the people.’
He adds, ‘There was a desire to make the space totally original in its design thinking but ultimately it’s a public space. It’s a really interesting experience to allow that sense of freedom but it’ll look very utilitarian with lots of concrete. It’s simple, honest details and we have to embrace a very functional, honest palette of materials.’