Birmingham Centenary Sq.
competition concept – From Living Room to Play Room
Birmingham’s living room is dominated by its formal attire, perfect for hosting the city’s public events: a site for the grand, the lavish and the extravagant. On other days, wind sweeps across the giant carpet. The space struggles to engage the individual, host the intimate or foster the informal. There is no need to tear up the carpet and start afresh. We propose instead a family of mobile follies and inclined landscape interventions, choreographed around existing assets, acting as catalysts for communal activities.
Three principal cross-routes take account of the strategic significance of the square, strung with lights and lined by pavilions, turning the rush hour into an animated promenade. Variously mounted on wheels and tracks, pavilions unfold to offer: bike repair for the rushed commuter; yoga mats for meditation at dawn; coffee for the insomniac urban activist; play furniture for families strewn across the carpet; film screenings for young and old; event tickets for the cultural enthusiast. Myriad intimate gathering spaces and informal routes unfold within the square.
And come the next event, toys are tidied away, pavilions retracted to the perimeter, performance stage and tiers swung into position.