The Martian Embassy by LAVA,
Will O'Rourke and The Glue Society

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This young writers' workshop in Sydney by architects LAVA is parading as an embassy for Martians on earth (+ slideshow).

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

LAVA worked alongside producer Will O'Rourke and arts organisation The Glue Society to design the centre for creative writing charity The Sydney Story Factory, who organise classes where children can develop imaginative writing skills.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

A skeleton of plywood ribs surrounds the space, integrating seating, counters and shelves.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Travel essentials for Martians fill the display areas and can be purchased at a plywood counter, while the workshop desks are located just beyond.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

"The concept is to awaken creativity in kids," explains LAVA director Chris Bosse, "so the design acts as a trigger, firing up the engines of imagination".

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

To see stories about normal embassy buildings, click here.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Photography is by Brett Boardman, apart from where otherwise indicated.

Here's some more information from LAVA:


The Martians have landed and they’ve set up their very own embassy in inner city Sydney!

The new embassy was designed by LAVA, with partners Will O'Rourke and The Glue Society, as a fusion of a whale, a rocket and a time tunnel, an immersive space of oscillating plywood ribs brought to life by red planet light and sound projections.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Above: photograph is by Peter Murphy

LAVA’s design for the Martian Embassy is for The Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney. The project was a collaboration with production company Will O’Rourke and their creative partners The Glue Society, who developed the Martian concept which was then road tested with kids - of all ages.

Chris Bosse, Asia Pacific director of LAVA said: ‘It's the stuff great stories are made of - think of Moby Dick, H. G. Wells' Time Machine and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick’.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Above: photograph is by Peter Murphy

‘The concept is to awaken creativity in kids, so the design acts as a trigger, firing up the engines of imagination. It’s an intergalactic journey - from the embassy, at the street entrance, to the shop full of red planet traveller essentials, to the classroom. By the time kids reach the writing classes they have forgotten they are in “school”.’

‘Using a fluid geometry merging the three program components [embassy, school and shop], a computer model was sliced and ‘nested’ into buildable components. 1068 pieces of CNC-cut plywood were put together like a giant puzzle. Using technologies from the yacht and space industry the timber ribs create shelves, seats, benches, storage, counters and displays and continue as strips on the floor. Edged with Martian green, the curvy plywood flows seamlessly so that walls, ceiling and floor, space, structure and ornament, become one element.’

A mix of Martian essential oils infuses the tunnel to inspire young imaginations, whilst the sounds and lights of the red planet animate the space.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Click the image above for a larger image

Martian passports, alien money, 1kg cans of gravity, abduction kits and SPF 5000 sunscreen are just some of the 'Made on Mars' gift products sold in the Martian Embassy store.

‘We had a lot of fun creating the first diplomatic mission from inner space’, added Bosse.
The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in inner Sydney. Volunteer tutors help students to write and publish stories. Free programs target young people, from marginalized, Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to everyone.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Click the image above for a larger image

 

It was inspired by 826 Valencia, a creative writing centre for young people started by novelist Dave Eggers in San Francisco in 2002. A Pirate Supply Store fronts the centre, selling everything the working buccaneer needs: peg legs, eye patches, parrot feed. There are now eight chapters across the US, each with its own unique themed shop. In 2010 novelist Nick Hornby opened The Ministry of Stories in London, behind Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

The Martian Embassy by LAVA Will ORourke and The Glue Society

Click above for larger image

Architects: LAVA: Laboratory for Visionary Architecture
Production: Will O’Rourke
Creative direction: The Glue Society
Project Manager: Berents Project Management
Lighting and acoustic design: ARUP
Builder: Redwood Projects
Lighting: Philips
Sound: Syntec
Oils: Avatar Air

  • http://www.buytikitorches.com Tiki Torch

    This great job will really livens up the engines of imagination among kids really!. I really like the concept of creativity in here. Sydney will probably be the center of Martian embassy and their residency here on earth if that would be the case. But meanwhile, this theory will really trigger the creative minds of another useful imagination and enthusiastic kids to make their another useful imagination on their own.