tim lai and brad steinmetz collaborate on willow theater tim lai and brad steinmetz collaborate on willow theater
nov 04, 2013

tim lai and brad steinmetz collaborate on willow theater

tim lai and brad steinmetz collaborate with willow theater
photo © matthew carbone
all images courtesy of tim lai and brad steinmetz




‘willow theater’, a temporary and fully recyclable stage, has been has been constructed at the royal welsh college of music & drama in cardiff, wales. the project, the collaborative work of tim lai and brad steinmetz, has won the 2013 world stage design award. the theater will function as an important local venue, hosting performance pieces, exhibitions, seminars and workshops, seating up to 150 guests.



the theater has won the 2013 world stage design award
photo © matthew carbone




brad steinmetz (a professor for the department of theater at ohio state university), contacted tim lai (principal of tim lai architect), inquiring about a potential partnership, and, faced with a quickly approaching deadline in addition to existing workloads, the designers worked intensively at night communicating primarily by phone and email.



the structure’s façade comprises layers of hanging fabric
photo © matthew carbone




while working on the competition entry, lai explains that he was keen to explore the spacial relationship of a box within a box, ‘I’m always interested in spaces between forms and ways to make those spaces interesting. the translucent fleece gives an intriguing spin towards spaces and their divisions. they define and yet blur spaces’.



the low-cost fleece exterior blurs the edges of the structure
photo © matthew carbone




steinmetz investigated the various ways in which the structure could be clad, before realizing the possibilities that a horticultural fleece could offer, ‘I was first drawn to the material as a cheap alternative in comparison to large theatrical fabric, but I soon learned that its unique lightness and translucency could be used to great effect’.



the theater set within its more permanent surroundings
photo © matthew carbone




the entirety of the proposal is composed of locally-sourced reusable materials, while the layers of hanging fabric, which form the building’s façade, reference the swaying branches of weeping willow trees. it is imagined that, due the project’s versatile nature, and its relatively low construction costs, it can be replicated at various events and festivals, at a more local scale.



150 people can be seat inside the venue
photo © matthew carbone



‘willow theater’ will host performance pieces, exhibitions, seminars and workshops
photo © matthew carbone



willow theater, cardiff
video by Tim Lai ArchitecT



the willow theater – world stage design 2013 at RWCMD
video by royal welsh college of music & drama



  • videos especially the last is way to fast
    you do not get the viewer to really see or be involved

    Paedra says:

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