‘Archipelago Cinema’ is an auditorium raft designed to float in the sea and give audiences the movie-going experience in a natural landscape.
Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren designed a floating cinema just in time for the inaugural edition of Thailand’s Film on the Rocks Yao Noi Festival. The festival, which took place from March 9th-12th, is set to become an annual gathering for art and film and is curated by actress Tilda Swinton. On the final night of the festival, guests were taken by boat to arrive on a glowing raft in the middle of the quiet waters of Nai Pi Lae lagoon on Kudu Island. Archipelago Cinema, as it is called, is surrounded by a dramatic landscape of towering rocks.
Scheeren said of his design:
The thought of watching films here seemed surprising. A screen, nestled somewhere between the rocks. And the audience… floating… hovering above the sea, somewhere in the middle of this incredible space of the lagoon, focused on the moving images across the water: A sense of temporality, randomness, almost like driftwood. Or maybe something more architectural: Modular pieces, loosely assembled, like a group of little islands that congregate to form an auditorium.
Archipelago Cinema is built based on techniques used by fishermen to construct floating lobster farms. With a strong connection to the local community, the design also features recycled materials as a series of individual modules to allow flexibility for future usage.