Trends are not something to be followed blindly, but often they do reveal something more than what is on the surface. Taking their cue from the world of fashion retail, temporary cultural venues are ‘popping up’ all over the place.
As social interaction becomes increasingly ‘online’ – divided into increasingly smaller bytes, from letters to emails, down to Facebook updates and twitter – so too are our offline gathering places becoming transient. Now the lifespan of venues are cut shorter and shorter as well.
As well as the cultural and social elements, there are some physical design considerations specific to the pop-up. Similar to exhibition, festival and pavilion design (think the races), there is a focus on producing re-usable and recyclable structures, eliminating waste often associated with temporary venues. Installations such as the Greenhouse by Joost Bakker (Melbourne, Perth) are a particularly good example of this.
If you were near Customs House in Sydney last week, you may also have noticed a large shipping container – although not actually recognisable as such – with hundreds of guests enjoying wines in an open-air bar.
The ‘mobile lounge’ for boutique New Zealand wine brand, Stoneleigh, is the creation of ‘fashion architects’ Kelvin Ho and Jeremy Bull – the pair having worked with a number of Australia’s most renowned fashion designers.
The architects had the challenging task of taking the shell of a shipping container and using it to represent Stoneleigh. For them, “It was a process of identifying the materials and ideas which communicated the idea of Stoneleigh most powerfully; landscape, sunlight, and perhaps a dash of nostalgia…and communicating them as succinctly as possible within a contained space,” Bull says.
Bull and Ho took inspiration from the ‘sun stones’ that are such a part of the Stoneleigh story – found on the winery site and inspiring the name. The bar itself uses the ‘gabion’ wall technique to literally fuse these stones into the design. The ‘fold out’ location also incorporates fine outdoor furniture and ‘plantscaping’.
“We worked from high level conceptual options through to the detailing of the final product – including structural engineering, interior finishes, external treatments, lighting, signage and bespoke furniture,” said Ho.
Design Hunters™ can see the Stoneleigh pop-up as it tours the country, visiting arts festivals and other high-profile events.