Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Cloud chamber in London, United Kingdom by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
May 18th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Victoria & Albert Museum – 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces (exhibition 2010).
We envisage the Cloud chamber as a retreat detached from everyday life, in part a direct response to the urban context of the V&A and its surroundings, but also a vehicle for the public to engage with and experience architectural scale and space at first hand. The aim is both a visual and physical experience of the tension between a direct and expressive exterior and a sensual, surprising and challenging interior.
The exterior appears massive and tectonic, a solid wood construction, while the inside is the opposite, ephemeral and intangible. Projections of sky phenomena add a visual depth, a notion of floating in space. It is a room of intimate scale, yet vast or even infinite through the suggestive fiction of moving cloud scapes.
The architecture of the cloud chamber is in part a result of the need to house the video projectors, as such its programme can be described as a light machine. At the same time it is an evocative piece encouraging further associations; from an abstract wooden cloud, to a fallen star, or an oversized hand crafted object.
We envisage that a series of time lapse loops will be developed and projected on screens inside the structure. Clouds can represent a state of peace and tranquility, but cloudy skies can also be dramatic and expressive (for examples please also see the short clips sent via email).
In addition sound (wind) and, if possible, climate (fresh air/cold) inside the Cloud chamber can further enhance the experience of a serene place, a refuge from everyday life.
Resembling an abstract wooden cloud or fallen star, this structure houses projectors and screens programmed with time-lapse imagery of cloud formations. Contrasting with the solid, emphatic exterior, every surface of the interior is covered with these film projections, thus offering an experience of weightlessness and intangibility. After the exhibition the structure should be hollowed out and become a children’s storytelling shelter.
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Category: Urban Design