Jellyfish Theatre is a New Form of Junkitechture
Images from Oikos Project
Some are calling it "junkitechture", a new way of building and designing using only recycled and reclaimed materials. The Jellyfish Theatre, which is under construction right now, is a prime example of this new architecture.
It will be the first UK theatre made completely of old materials from all sources: junked theatre sets, building sites, 800 market pallets, old kitchen units that the public bring along. There will even be a wall made from disused watercooler bottles that are decorated by local schools and included in the building.
Water-bottle wall under construction
It's a new theatre that is being created for just 2 months. And then mid-October, having housed two theatre productions about climate change, it will be deconstructed back to its roots.
Designed by two artists Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser, it's a design as you go kind of project. There are no formal plans, it is all improvised, based on the materials around that day.
The artists have a strong political and philosophical background to their work. As they say: "This project reverses the normal processes of our economy. Here we are turning waste into functional products. We take something worthless and make something of worth out of it."
That means that it is haphazard in a very structured way: the building conforms to building and fire codes and is completely strong and safe. It will seat 120 people. It was built with the help of 81 volunteers, including unemployed architects and carpenters, who have put 4,200 hours of their time into its construction. According to their blog, " a good third of our volunteers simply walked, biked, or drove by the site, and were so interested they came on board to volunteer, rather than emailing or being recruited."
Materials used include eight hundred pallets and 750 square metres of plywood, board offcuts, dismantled poles and battens, rickety tables, freight palettes, old theatre sets, empty plastic water-cooler bottles....and other sheet material. They are hoping to use a fuel-cell system which has just been launched by another theatre, and a lighting design which harnesses daylight.
The two productions that will be presented are environmentally themed. They are both dealing with the impact of climate change and the development of alternative societies.