An events space designed by Rem Koolhaas' OMA has opened in the basement of London department store Selfridges, featuring a circular amphitheatre, vivid green columns and a stripy monochrome floor (+ slideshow).
The Imaginarium was designed by OMA as "a school of imagination" and will be used to host a series of lectures, debates and activities as part of the Festival of Imagination taking place over the next six weeks.
The space centres around the semi-circular sections of the main amphitheatre, which were built on wheels so that they can be moved into different configurations. Pushed together, they form an intimate enclosure for up to 72 people, but can also be separated to surround a mobile stage.
The hollow structure of the seating is clad with translucent polycarbonate, allowing light to shine through from dozens of fluorescent lighting tubes installed within.
Elsewhere, cube-shaped stools are laid out in a grid to create another seating area, but can be moved into different layouts to suit various events and activities.
The floor of the space is painted with an Op Art-style pattern of black and white stripes that were applied using a road-painting machine.
Surrounding columns are painted in a shade of green often used to overlay a background in televised news and weather reports.
The perimeter walls are covered with mirrors that disguise the boundaries of the room.
The Koolhaas-designed auditorium is one of three Imaginariums installed at Selfridges' department stores across the UK. All three will host daily events during the Festival of Imagination, which is intended to "explore the power of the mind".
The Oxford Street Selfridges also features the Imagine Shop, a pop-up store curated by Dezeen that contains an augmented reality watch store and a walk-around digital model model of a yacht designed by Zaha Hadid.
Photography is by Andrew Meredith.
Read on for more information from Selfridges:
Selfridges launches the Festival of Imagination, with the unveiling of the Imaginarium - the first school of imagination of its kind
Selfridges London previews its Festival of Imagination with novelist Lucy Hawking (daughter of scientist Stephen Hawking) and Selfridges' Creative Director Alannah Weston in the Imaginarium, ahead of the official launch to the public, tomorrow, Friday 17 January.
Based on Harry Gordon Selfridge's belief that imagination is the antidote to routine and the mother of originality, The Festival of Imagination is Selfridges' new campaign to encourage people to explore the power of their own imagination with the help of some renowned personalities (the festival's bright imagineers) who are helping to shape and inspire our future.
Following on from the resounding success of No Noise in 2013, Selfridges' first wellbeing campaign, the Festival of Imagination continues to explore the power of the mind. This time, instead of celebrating silence, meditation and all things 'less is more', Selfridges focuses on what happens when our creativity is stimulated and imagination takes flight.
The line up of imagineers giving one of the 100-plus talks, lectures and discussions in Imaginariums in Selfridges stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham include Lucy Hawking, Jeanette Winterson, Carol Ann Duffy, and Nicola Formichetti.
The stunning London Imaginarium was designed by iconic Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, under whom Zaha Hadid, the world's most famous female architect once studied and trained.
The Festival of Imagination officially launches on Friday 17 January and runs until 2 March. The Imaginariums' schedules and all details about the festival are available at selfridges.com.
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