Bompas & Parr transform 400 sq m of prime roofspace atop Selfridges into a private emerald boating lake for a single weekend
This weekend the eccentric’s architecture duo of choice, Bompas & Parr, managed to convert a generous portion of rooftop at London’s prestigious Selfridges department store into an emerald oasis for lucky ticket holders.
In a display reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a select number of people were welcomed to the 400 sq m space via a private lift and settled into classic wooden rowing boats on a glittering green pool.
The event was a promotional UK launch for ‘Truvia’, a sweetener derived from the calorie-free sugars found in the South American plant Stevia, with Bompas & Parr taking design inspiration directly from this natural source.
Once drifting across the bottle green pond, visitors were able to order drinks from the ‘Crystal Café’ (a reference to the crystalline sugary substance) where original cocktails were shaken by the Experimental Cocktail Club, the Rare Tea Company served quintessentially British teas and Caravan poured out rich coffees.
On returning to their vessels rowers could then take a tour of the full installation which included thousands of Stevia plants, a miniature replica of the Iguazu Falls waterfall (the regional birthplace of the plant where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet) and a variety of themed props.
This is only the second time since WWII that Selfridges has opened its rooftop area to the public, who were invited to apply for free tickets to the event – although these quickly ran out! Highly imaginative and wildly original, culinary architects Bompas & Parr have made their name creative one-off works of art for private events using cutting edge technology.
Past projects have included a gingerbread replica of Shuttleworth’s Gherkin, a walk-in cocktail, the ‘Architectural Punchbowl’ where 33 Portland Place, London was flooded with over 4 tonnes of punch (with a little help from Arup!) and a crystal sugar cave. Suddenly a bright green boating pond on a central London rooftop doesn't seem so strange after all...