Brooke Cawley

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

I am passionate about performance design. I love how it connects people and uses space, built environments, sound and light to bring stories to life.

About

Platform B is an adaptive reuse of the existing historical Baxter Park Pavilion located in Dundee. It aims to allow Baxter Park to live up to it’s nickname “the people’s park” by offering an inclusive multifaceted performance space within and extended from the existing pavilion for all members of the community to use.

Inspired by Baxter Park’s historical, literal and metaphorical connection to water, Platform B not only hosts performances but also performs itself through movement and light. Users can also interact with the space and adjust it according to their needs. Water was also a huge inspiration for Platform B as there are many similarities between it and performance. The pavilion mimics waves by reaching and retracting into the park. Water is vital to our survival, as is performance.

The adapted interior offers more space and light, allowing it to be used primarily as a performance rehearsal studio while also having the potential to be adapted for other uses. It also acts as a backstage area for performances.

With the cancellation of live performance events due to Covid-19, the world turned to entertainment for escapism. It was movies, tv shows and online live stream performances that kept people going, however, none of that compares to the experience of seeing a performance live and being surrounded by like-minded people. Platform B is a literal “platform” for storytelling. It aims to bring people together through the joy experienced at live performances.

Platform B

An axonometric view of the rear of the design. Two dancers on stage and people watching on the grass in front of stage.

Visual showing Platform B being used for performance

Platform B is made up of many different design elements, two of which are interactive. The Stage shape is inspired by the circular shape of tidelines. The trio of Dissolving Facades are inspired by waves as the materiality becomes less solid the further out they reach, much like waves at a shore. The Mirror Pools were inspired by the theatrical term "smoke & mirrors", they reflect the pavilion and enhance the elegance of the original facade. The Wave Curtain takes inspiration from stage curtains and waves and can be opened and closed by users. The Pier Roof was inspired by a pier as it is a platform to stand and observe. Lastly, the Tidal Canopy was inspired by the sails of a boat and the movement of the tide, users can open and close it via ropes attached to the end metal facade. The ways in which the space can expand and retreat reflects that of the ocean tide.

Platform B Preview Video

A brief insight into my thesis project Platform B. For more detailed information, please have a look at my thesis magazine which can be found at the bottom of this page as a downloadable pdf.

While developing ideas in my sketchbook, I used a lot of collage and doodling. I was exploring the theme of water and performance and how the park terrain surrounding the site was like a beach due to one half being hilly and full of winding paths and trees and the other half being flat, vast and open. The pavilion was like a pier connecting land and sea. I was also exploring the rhythms of the existing pavilion.

The concept collages explore the themes of reflection, movement, flow, performance and show. I was inspired by the phrase "waves of change" and I realised that that is what I wanted my design to feel like in relation to the pavilion: like it was eroding into the rear of the pavilion like waves do to coastal cliffs, shaping it into something new.

The performance space can be used for casual and organised events. The point of it being outdoors is that there are no spatial boundaries to limit it's uses, much like tidelines in the sand are ever changing. It was important for it to have a roof for rigging and also shelter. The rigging allows curtains to be attached to the rear of the stage to hide the backstage area within the pavilion that can be seen due to the glass facade backdrop.

Platform B Facade Visual

A visual of the front brick facade with shallow pools of water surrounding it and a slight view of the wave curtain to the right. There are a few people in and around the pavilion.

The facade of the pavilion is so historically important so it was vital that the design did not take away from it which is why it is extended from the rear.

The interior of the space acts mainly as a rehearsal studio and a backstage area for performances, however it has the flexibility to be used for different things such as weddings, workshops, markets, meetings etc. The fluidity of the space reflects that of water. The bathrooms can be accessed from the interior and exterior which means that even when the interior is closed, the public are still able to use the bathrooms which is very important for a public space. It also means that they can be used during a performance as the users won't need to go backstage to use them.

Platform B has many interactive elements that involve light and movement. At sunset every night, there would be a light display projected onto the pavilion. This would draw in people to the park and become a well known regular occurrence. A sunset is light nature is putting on it's own light display show so the pavilion is mimicking that. The tidal canopy can be opened and closed to suit the users needs. The wave curtain can also be opened and closed, As it is made of metal, it also creates a chime like noise, allowing the users to create music. When light is shone onto the curtain, it has a beautiful effect and resembles water shining at the bottom of a pool.

My final model was created at a scale of 1:50 and it was displayed along with the rest of my physical work in the 4th year studio.

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