Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe and Associates recently won third place in the Miami Water Box competition for their roaming proposal. The construction of the water cube uses traditional steel structure and the not so traditional cladding of water. The water cladding is achieved with small reservoirs made of structural Plexiglas along the edge of the structure and laying flat across the top of the structure. These reservoirs are constantly being filled with pumps that bring water up from the bay and keeping water constantly flowing over the edge.
Before the shows as the seating fills what the viewer observes is a perfect water cube that seems to be a fountain in the bay. At the times indicated, certain sides of the reservoirs will be dammed and no water will flow over that particular side leaving an opening in the water cube. Just as a traditional curtain in a theater opens revealing the stage setting, the wall or curtain of water parts and recedes to expose the stage setting and the performers.
The design concept builds on the notion that a theaters success is associated to the strength and quality of the relationship between the audience and the performer. Acoustics amplify sound, lights direct visualizations but most other architectural elements or design features should become negligible once the performance begins.
The floating stage attempts to add a layer of this water vocabulary by resembling a cube of water. The intention of the cube is to evoke thoughts of the long standing tradition of man-made islands and waterways throughout the bay. The water cube, while being made of natural materials cries out its man-made origins. Through the use of gateways and dams, waterfalls provide the stage with curtains, backdrops, privacy screens and even a surface on which to project. The unique quality of water to absorb and mask sound and it’s amazing reflective and refractive qualities allow it to enhance the experience.
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