Archipelago Cinema: A Floating Auditorium

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There’s nothing like watching a film outdoors. The fresh air, the starry sky – it’s a magical experience. But imagine watching a film where not only are you outside but you are immersed in an island paradise floating peacefully on the water. That’s the experience the audience gets when attending Archipelago Cinema, taking outdoor cinema to a whole new level.

Set amongst the breathtaking backdrop of Nai Pi Lae lagoon on Kudu Island in Thailand – where towering rocks emerge from the ocean and the quiet water is airily still – the Archipelago Cinema becomes a receptacle for a completely immersive cinematic experience. The sound from the film echoes and bounces off the momentous rocks and the dark water reflects the light off the screen to create a mesmerizing and enchanting experience.

Designed by Beijing-based architect Ole Scheeren, the raft is an exploration of architectural ideas in a different format. “The thought of watching films here seemed surprising,” commented Scheeren. “A screen, nestled somewhere between the rocks. And the audience… floating… hovering above the sea, somewhere in the middle of this incredible space of the lagoon, focused on the moving images across the water.”

The platform is made up of modules which are constructed out of recycled materials. The eco-friendly modular pieces are loosely assembled and congregate to form the auditorium. With the platform being modular it is easily disassembled and transportable, just like the modular homes we offer here at Modscape. The modules also allow the platform to be reconfigured, with more added at a later date to create a larger or repurposed space. 

Inspired by the methods used by local fisherman who construct their floating lobster farms by tying wooden frames to foam bricks, the architect employed similar techniques to create a beautifully simple structure.

Thanks to its relocatable qualities, the raft is currently making its way around the world stopping at various locations. If you don’t manage to hunt it down, it will eventually return to a permanent home on Kudu Island for many a balmy movie night floating peacefully in the lagoon.

Images via Archdaily