kobberling and kaltwasser: jellyfish theatre kobberling and kaltwasser: jellyfish theatre
aug 25, 2010

kobberling and kaltwasser: jellyfish theatre

‘the jellyfish theatre’ image © brian benson

berlin-based architects köbberling and kaltwasser have worked alongside volunteers to create ‘the jellyfish theatre’. located in southwark, it is london’s first fully-functioning theatre made entirely from recycled and reclaimed materials. the project focuses on energy-efficiency, co-operation and human-scale construction. opening to the public at the end of august, this temporary structure is made of materials from all sources:  junked theatre sets, reclaimed timber from building sites, market pallets, old kitchen units that the public brought along.

the project was initiated by theatre production company the red room as part of their ‘oikos project‘. ‘oikos’ is ancient greek for house and the root word of economy and ecology. embracing these principles, they have embarked on constructing ‘the jellyfsh theatre’ which fuses together disciplines of public-made art, architecture and performance. in doing so, it also explores how a new sustainable society can flourish in a world altered by climate change.

detail image © brian benson

detail image © brian benson

interior image © brian benson

interior image © brian benson

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’

waterbottle wall constructed around the lounge area

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’ image © maja mysliborska

interior during buildup process

floor being laid

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’

buildup of ‘jellyfish theatre’


cross section

priliminary plan

  • wish to see the final

    Heather Ho says:
  • Fantastic. Really fantastic.

    gxr says:
  • Thank goodness for things like this! Interesting to note that Southwark was where Shakespeare’s 16th Century Globe Theater was located (and re-imagined in the 1990s). Southwark has always been on the ‘edge’ and a place for ‘outsiders’.

    Jay vanCouverdon says:
  • I’m sorry but it looks a lot like clubhouses we made in Midwestern backyards with stuff we salvaged from neighbor’s garages and building sites. Guess that makes us the seminal recycling architects.

    Tom P says:
  • looks like brazilian favelas aesthetics are catching on…

    what really concerns me is people thinking that this is “chic” and valuing this kind of look, when in fact it represents poverty at its worst…

    i can see the eco argument with all this, but just giving my other point of view here

    John says:
  • First world thinking about poverty!!!

    Rod says:
  • In Brazil such aesthetic is born out of desperation and a deep survival instinct. In the favelas, this “style” lacks any form of planning (no rendering or primary plan*) and follows what Lévi-Strauss calls bricolage in his book The Savage Mind(!) The bricoleur’s “universe of instruments is closed and the rules of his game are always to make do with ‘whatever is at hand,’ that is to say with a set of tools and materials which is always finite and is also heterogeneous because what it contains bears no relation to the current project, or indeed to any particular project, but is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions.”

    I guess the creators of this project have an answer to the economic debate questioning if the favelas are a problem or a solution to the burdens of poverty.

    * This is one of the key differences between this project and the shanty towns growing at an amazing pace all over the world.

    Andre says:
  • It’s just a phase, people will grow out of it. (-;

    Mumknowsbest says:
  • just let them recycle and have some fun and creative ideas! No need to be critical when some architects or designers are being playful and useful at the same. The people doing this dont’ live in Brasil or Argentina, they just want to do something different, stretch boundaries and make others think about being more resourceful.

    andrea says:
  • What Fun! Great idea for a temporary structure. It also serves as a reminder that so many of the globe’s population are living in dwellings made up of the remnants from the more affluent. Ohhh and really like the buildings that encompass the area. Hope we get to see the finished article d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • It looks like the makeshift houses one sees in informal settlement here in South Africa. It’s great! A few years back I constructed a dividing wall with reclaimed timber and used old hessian sacks as insulation/sound proofing. It was very effective.

    Ryan says:
  • Looks like a big bonfire waiting to happen!

    THE PILOT says:

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