Stairway Cinema is the third major installation by OH.NO.SUMO. The ongoing goal is to experiment with architecture and the way it can engage with the public in unique and exciting ways. This project takes inspiration from the site and its inhabitants. The intersection of Symonds Street and Mount Street is a place of ‘hard waiting’. Bus stops and laundromats create a hard-scape of poor space for social interaction. Members of the public retreat individually into the media offered on their mobile phones. This in turn results in greater separation and dislocation from an existing community that is waiting to be activated. A community must be linked not only virtually but also physically.
Stairway Cinema offers a very simple programmatic response to recognise and counter this larger issue. Short movies previously shared online, are projected for the public to enjoy, offering similar media to that sought out on their phones. The individual experience is exchanged for the communal and social, leading to a shared, fun and architecturally framed experience. Movies are collected from internet recommendations that have been shared by the public through social media. The public curate this virtual collection of media continuously and the cinema captures current trends and highlights within this realm. Stairway Cinema uses architecture as a way of engaging in a discussion about curatorial practice, urbanism and the role of Architects as place-makers and provocateurs.
The structure is a slender timber truss made from 24x24mm pine members. Covering this frame is a triple skin system of fabric that provides a waterproof exterior, a dappled light effect and a soft tactile interior surface. Sited above an existing exterior stairway the fabric and timber hood creates a new interior within the public realm; a space that is free to enter and welcomes all. The interior, softened with custom made cushions, offers a repurposed seating tier. Over the entrance video content is projected onto the screen at the cantilevered end of the structure.