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OFF THE WALL: Estonia’s Straw-Bale Theater Reaps Ovation at Festival

Thursday, January 12, 2012

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In Talinn, Estonia, they’re not worried about the Big Bad Wolf blowing away their House of Straw.

 Salto Architects Straw Bale Theatre
 Salto Architects Straw Bale Theatre

Actually, the house in question is the Straw Bale Theatre, the work of Estonia-based architecture firm Salto, and one of the more unorthodox designs entered in the recent World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.

The theater actually is something of a moving target for any Big Bad Wolf, as it was conceived as a temporary structure in any case, and has been disassembled and partly reconstructed at a new site. The structure was originally located on the northern edge of Talinn’s Old Town, according to news reports from Estonia.

The theater was built on a wooden frame packed with straw bales that were painted black. Salto Architects viewed the project as an eco-friendly concept that would house a special summer program of the theater company NO99.

The theater was erected on the site of a fortification dating to the Talinn of the Middle Ages. The site had remained a “closed and neglected spot in the centre of town” for some time, according to information published by the World Architecture Festival. (See Straw Bale Theatre.) 

The Straw Bale Theatre won mention as “highly commended” at the World Architecture Festival, while the Media-ICT building in Barcelona won the top prize of “World Building of the Year.”

Cloud 9 Media ICT Building
Cloud 9’s Media-ICT building

The architects of the ICT building, Cloud 9 of Barcelona, say the building volume “forms a cube,” adding that the structure “is built from the top and moves down, becoming transparent, anti-graviational and almost liquid at the bottom. (See Media-ICT.)

The Structural Design of the Year honors went to Gehry Partners LLC’s Eight Spruce Street, a 76-story spire reported to be New York City’s tallest residential tower. The focal point of the design is its “undulating, asymmetrical steel curtain wall with curvaceous folds and crinkles reminiscent of the folds in a piece of gently draped fabric.” (See Beekman Tower.)

Beekman Tower
Gehry Partners’ Eight Spruce Street

More on entries in the World Architecture Festival can be seen at www.worldbuildingsdirectory.com.


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Color; Design

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