Twenty-thousand pieces of aluminium form a chain-mail blanket over this concrete performance venue in Winnipeg by Canadian firm 5468796 Architecture.
The chain-mail hangs like a curtain over the facade of the structure. During performances it can be hauled up out of the way to reveal a stage, while at other times it functions as a protective screen, shielding the interior.
"[It] throws out the old bandshell concept on the grounds that when a conventional stage is not in use it would look forlorn," say the architects, explaining their concept for a structure that can "hibernate" during the city's long winters.
Lighting fixtures and a projector have both been installed inside The Cube, allowing colours, images and movies to be projected over the metal surfaces.
A lawn in front of the structure doubles-up as a spectator area during performances, while a line of curving benches provide seating around the edges of the square.
Another building we've featured with a chain-mail exterior is the Kukje art gallery in Seoul designed by SO-IL.
Read on more more information from 5468796 Architecture:
OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
"The Old Market Square Stage" (otherwise known as "The Cube"), OMS Stage for short, is an open-air performance venue situated in Old Market Square, an iconic green space and summer festival hub in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. In 2009, 5468796 Architecture won an invited competition with a multi-functional design that throws out the old bandshell concept on the grounds that when a conventional stage is not in use it would look forlorn - especially through the city's long winters.
A concrete cube enclosed by a flexible metal membrane, The Cube functions as a multipurpose environment. The membrane is composed of 20,000 identical hollow aluminium pieces strung together on aircraft cables.
The orientation of the pieces alternates, forming a flexible and shimmering curtain - a contemporary take on medieval chain mail, that can stand like a wall, be pulled in to reveal the performance space, or function as a light-refracting surface - allowing it to morph into a projection screen, performance venue, shelter or sculptural object. The curtain's flexibility also allows for acoustical fine tuning.
Internal lighting refracts through the mesh so that the The Cube softly glows on the outside. An internal projector also enables images to be projected on the front curtain. The membrane's diamond extrusions capture and refract light and images to their outer surface, creating a unique pixel matrix for artists to appropriate at will.
Architect: 5468796 Architecture Inc.
Client: Winnipeg Exchange District BIZ
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Project Area: 784 sqft (28’ x 28’)