Imagine... A White Room

Forest of Imagination 2020

White Room, during Forest of Imagination 2020

FCBStudios summer pavilion for the Forest of Imagination and The Holburne Museum reimagines 1000kg of plastic waste to create a recycled, recyclable, reusable pavilion.

White Room, created as the 2019  House of Imagination pavilion, is a place for learning and exploration, for performance, exhibition, workshops or shelter. During the Forest of Imagination festival, it hosted talks and workshops by artists Bob and Roberta Smith and Richard Long and authors Lauren Childs and David Almond, provide a blank canvas for imagination and creativity and support the Holburne Museum’s programme throughout the summer.

The theme for this year’s Forest of Imagination is Life\|Line\, exploring environmental themes and celebrating the imagination. Plastics are a problematic part of our world. We want to reduce the quantity we produce and to recycle what we have already created. By designing for the reuse of materials that are recyclable and recycled we engage in a cradle to cradle\, circular economy philosophy that protects our environment.

White Room is imagined as a temporary structure but is intended to have a life beyond the festival weekend as a venue for Holburne Museum’s events, exhibitions and workshops throughout the summer. It is a lightweight structure made of timber and steel, clad in recycled plastic. The Ekoply walls and floor are made from a mix of Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) plastics that would normally be incinerated or sent to landfill, but here create a crisp white canvas for creativity, exploration and the stimulation of the imagination. Children and adults are invited to draw on the walls, allowing their imagination to spill onto the structure.

Polycarbonate roof panels and dichroic film diffuse and filter sunlight to make a vibrant festival atmosphere for the art and performance events planned to take place during the summer.

Manufactured off-site, the individual panels were delivered to site on a single flatbed truck. Each section is based on a standard sheet size and therefore reduces wastage and dramatically speeds up construction time. The pavilion is fully demountable, designed to be stored and reassembled for future use or reconfigured in a new situation. Through the use of whole sheets, the design enhances the reuse potential of the original materials once their life as the pavilion is over.

Isabel Sandeman of FCBStudios said “The planar aesthetic of White Room is a direct consequence of the decision to use standard sheet dimensions in order to maximise the reuse potential of this material. The Ekoply walls and floors can be made into something totally new without having to undergo an energy-intensive recycling process.”

White Room is a collaboration between FCBStudios, Buro Happold, Wraxall Builders and Rākau carpenters. It was made possible by The Arts Council England, YTL Wessex Water, The Osborne Group, Roper Rhodes and Hometown World.

Also at Forest of Imagination is ‘Waste of Space’, an interactive artwork conceived by young architectural designers at FCBStudios who have been working with local schools and community groups to make Ecobricks. Ecobricks are a temporary solution to dealing with single-use plastics in the waste stream, packing non-recyclable plastics into plastic bottles to divert material from the environment and create a durable construction material. Our hope is that the installation will help raise awareness of Ecobricks, and inspire change in our wasteful shopping habits.

1-5 House of Imagination, temporary recycled structure at Holbourne Museum, as part of Forest of Imagination 2020