Publicly Accessible Buildings

An idea with legs...

Centipede Cinema opens in Portugal

by Sian 24 October 2012
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    Ever wished you could disappear for a few minutes; escape from the humdrum routine of day-to-day life into an alternative reality? Residents of Guimaraes, Portugal are now enjoying this luxury as a temporary installation it their town centre enables passers-by to view a showcase of films selected by workers in a local leather factory from the archives of the Guimaraes CineClube for as long as they wish.

    Concocted by Colin Fournier and Marysia Lewandowska in collaboration with London-based design studio NEON - the inventive minds behind the Zombie Bench and Bang & Olufsen PLAY House - the Centipede Cinema is a temporary cinema screen installed within a steel and cork construction with a series of sixteen nodules at the base, through which people can peer to view the films at their leisure.

    Founded in 1958, the Guimaraes CineClube was a popular cinema, playing a variety of international films some of which were in direct opposition to the right-wing beliefs of the Estado Novo regime (1933-1974). In celebration of this ballsy picturehouse and the joy that it has brought to Guimaraes over the years, the design team has constructed this engaging yellow installation using local materials.

    Defining the Centipede Cinema as a ‘public intervention’, the team says of its concept: “It invites film-viewers to enter its steel and cork structure via one of 16 nozzles so that their upper bodies are part of the cinematic experience whilst their legs are rooted in the outside world. The alien-like structure creates a stark contrast with the historical streets of Guimarães, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. This contrast is echoed in the playful juxtaposition of reality and the world of fiction.”

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