Once upon a time, there was a wrecked, derelict petrol station in the UK. And an architecture studio decided to take the upper hand and try to demonstrate something to the British society.
They wanted to prove the potencial of the no longer used public spaces, like petrol stations, to give them a new life as public use places. So they came with the idea of rehabilitating them and building a cinema.
It was called “The Cineroleum”, from ‘cinema’ and ‘oleum’ –clever naming. With the materials they already had, like the forecourt roof, and some donated, cheap elements, built a classic, cinematic, iconographic, re-imagined cinema.
The curtain, made from roofing material hang from the ceiling and enclosed the building. The seats were flip-ups, made with the remainings of old scaffolding boards and cinema seats. And the exterior signage was a classic, neon light with the name of the building. In the inside of the petro station, they developed a meeting place, with a windowed area and the ticket offices.
The materials gave the construction a handmade look, but a highly designed finish. The construction was made by a hundred volunteer collective, and a mechanism of trial and error.
And, in the end, the people had a new way to watch and enjoy cinema. The old building became a social experience. It was a private experience in the most public place: the streets of London.
From VXLAB we think that is a great initiative. That adapting old buildings to fulfill new purposes and give the public new places to be is one of the beauties of architecture and design. Shout-out to Assemble Studio!