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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

THE VELVET STATE in Roskilde, Denmark by SHJWORKS Architectural

 
August 16th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: SHJWORKS Architectural

The Velvet State came up as an ambition to combine performance and architecture in a project at the Roskilde Festival 2013.

The core of the project emerged via an ongoing dialogue between the performers and the architects, adopting and merging the two disciplines into one universe.

Image Courtesy © Simon Hjermind Jensen

  • Architects: SHJWORKS Architectural
  • Project: THE VELVET STATE
  • Location: Roskilde, Denmark
  • Photography: Lasse Ryberg, Simon Hjermind Jensen, Christian Bøcker Sørensen, Henri Käpynen, Inga Gerner Nielsen, Yeray Lopez

SHJWORKS Architectural team:

  • Head of design and project leader: Simon Hjermind Jensen 
  • Architect and site manager: Christian BøckerSørensen 
  • Architectural and design assistant: Henri Käpynen
  • Assisting site manager: MadsBryldSørensen

Image Courtesy © Simon Hjermind Jensen

Simon Hjermind Jensen from SHJWORKS (DK) was the architect behind the concept and the design of the building. The performance part was developed in a dialogue between Fiction Pimps (DK) and Collective Unconscious (UK), and directed by Inga Gerner Nielsen.

The performance explored the idea of a sensuous society – a possible society where the sensual and poetic perception of the world is at the center.

Image Courtesy © Simon Hjermind Jensen

The physical structure covered an area of 794 square meters with the highest point of 7 meters. It consisted of seven parts, which together created one united structure that framed the performance and together with it formed a parallel universe.

The seven parts of the structurewere The Ring, The Stage, The Ridge, The Reactor, The Barn, The Dressing Room and The Courtyard. All parts were built in shells of plywood assembled with bolts and “sewings” in polycarbonate. Each part was designed over the same catenary curve as the section itself. And each part consisted of a sequence of sections whichwere variations of this one curve. In this way every part became individual with its own appearance and spatial qualities, and at the same time it was part of a greater whole.

Image Courtesy © Lasse Ryberg

The plywood shells acted both as façade and as support forthe structure. 12, 9, 6 and 4 mm thick plywood was used. The thick plywood was placed in the bottom and the thin in the top. Each plywood shell was bent into a singular curve and all together these curves created the structural support for the whole project. The shells were fastened to a leveled base which was attached to the ground with one meter long earth spikes.

Part of the architectural unfolding was to investigate how variations of the same curve could create a rich spatial appearance. Also the unfolding tested the structural concept and assemble methods in a large scale.

Image Courtesy © Christian Bøcker Sørensen

The performance acts took departure in rituals and in anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep´s concept of liminality. This liminality was incorporated in the physical structure. The courtyard and thereby the inside of the structure was only accessible via three spaces. These spaces acted as thresholds and liminal spaces towards the performance.  Inside the structure in the sensuous society was formed by 10 archetypes: The Bewinged, The Alchymist, The Dictator, The Killer, The Pink Narcissus, The Fetichist, The Critic, The Idealist, The Voyeur and The Creature. The society was also inhabited by maintainers that maintained the archetypes and engaged the festival participants with the archetypes.

Image Courtesy © Simon Hjermind Jensen

The stage was unconventional in the festival setting. The floor was only 30 cm tall and the stage was accessible from both sides. The guest performers at the stage could therefore easily manoeuvre towards the festival or towards the sensuous society.

During the Festival different guests performed at The Velvet Stage. The Nielsen Sisters (DK), Dorit Chrysler and Baby Dee (US), The Triangle Project (US, Cairo, DK), Voina (RU), Tantra (DK),  DJ Hvadand Simulacrum (ES) to name a few.The performance program was curated by GryWorreHallberg.

Image Courtesy © Christian Bøcker Sørensen

Image Courtesy © Christian Bøcker Sørensen

Image Courtesy © Simon Hjermind Jensen

Image Courtesy © Christian Bøcker Sørensen

Image Courtesy © Yeray Lopez

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

Image Courtesy © SHJWORKS Architectural

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