matthew mazzotta: open house a transforming public theater
original content
aug 12, 2013
matthew mazzotta: open house a transforming public theater


matthew mazzotta: open house a transforming public theater
all images courtesy of matthew mazzotta

 

 

 

the transformation of a derelict property into a free, open air theater is part of a public art project between american artist matthew mazzotta, the coleman center for the arts, and the people of york, alabama. the folding theater arose out of the identification of the lack of public spaces, and the high number of abandoned houses within the town. ‘open house’ dramatically reconfigures itself from a regular small house to an open air space able to seat 100 people.

 

using the materials from the abandoned building, the team created a new smaller footprint of the old house – the new structure’s roofs and walls fold down to complete the metamorphosis. the theater’s foundation is made of used railroad ties which anchor the custom fabricated industrial hinges to five rows of stadium seating. to unfold the structure it requires four people and one and a half hours. the rows of seats fold down with the aid of a hand winch and enough people to counter balance the cleverly transforming piece. located between the town’s grocery store and post office, the house is prominently on display to the neighborhood. the town’s new public space accommodates shows, plays, movies and events for the community of york. when the site is not use, it remains in the shape of a regular dwelling, a reminder of its transformation. the project directly addresses the issue of discarded buildings within the community, turning an eyesore into a new meeting point for the town of york.

 

 

 


‘open house: abandoned property reconfigured into a folding theater’
video courtesy of matthew mazzotta

 

 

 
the new structure’s roofs and walls fold down to complete the transforming theater

 

 


the project identification of the lack of public spaces, and the high number of abandoned houses within the town

 

 


to unfold the structure it requires four people and one and a half hours

 

 


the house dramatically reconfigures itself to an open air space able to seat 100 people

 

 


the town’s new public space accommodates shows, plays, movies and events for the community of york

 

 


detail of the seating and the recycled materials used

 

 


the foundation is made of used railroad ties which anchor the industrial hinges to five rows of stadium seating

 

 


view showing the seating for the theater’s audience

 

 


people performing at the free public theater

 

 


the site’s abandoned property was demolished and the materials reused to create ‘open house’

  

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