One Fun Palace, Cedrick Price started by thinking

One of his most evolutionary and
ambitious projects is the well know ‘Fun Palace’ which unfortunately was never
built. The visionary project was intended to be constructed in 1961 on the
banks of the Thames for the liberal
theatre director Joan Littlewoods. The Fun Palace was a proposal for an alternate
educational leisure center that was intended to accommodate numerous
programmatic and spatial reconfigurations introduced by its occupants.
Littlewoods imagined the Fun Palace as an imaginative and productive opening
for this anticipated windfall of leisureliness. Moreover, she believed that the
design of the Fun Place was a way to introduce to the British community
innovating experiences and  chances of enduring
learning and discoveries. Her vision included a theatre where the audience is
the dominant element of the design concept, are also players combined both well
with Cedrick Price’s architectural idea of a cooperative and ever-changing setting
which would stand as a “laboratory of fun”, featuring moving walls and floors, collaborating
panels and while also an “expandable conference center”. Cedric considered the ‘theatrical’ concept as a problem
not of motionless and compact ‘structure’.  Even though it was never comprehended, unlike
other influential projects of the 1960s it was fully envisioned to be constructed.
Furthermore, approaching
the design and the concept of the Fun Palace, Cedrick Price started by thinking
and considering Joan Littlewoods’s ‘theatrical’ concept as an interesting
problem to solve and not as a stagnant and solid building, but in terms of a different
and new kind of dynamic and vibrant architecture which would allow numerous facilities
and would be able to continuously adjust to change. Continuously, It would
allow be a network of multiple functions and uses, a space of alternation
between non harmonized events. The spaces would have been boundlessly varied in
size, shape, lighting and accessibility. In preference to seek design concepts
from the conventional range of modernist items and spaces, he deliberated the brief
in temporal terms, and searched for the solution within the problems it imposed.
The Fun Palace would have been  a project
whose concept and brief was in frequent alteration, which allowed various and unspecified
uses and functions. His designs started to describe and refer to a constant
adapting  architecture of continuous functions,
in a endless process of construction, disassembling, and reassembly. It would
be a immense framework where the working – class community of East London could
gather their own learning knowledge  and
leisure environments, where Littlewoods’s vision might be possibly understood,
where the public could escape from the daily routine and ongoing presence and board
on a journey and an idea of imagination, creativity and individual expansion. Cedrick
Price imagined the Fun Palace regarding the process, as functions in time
rather than objects and solids in and open space, and celebrate uncertainty as
a primary design principle and concept.

The structure was designed as a flexible framework,
where different types of activities would take place in a versatile space
arrangement , where the possibility of adapting and creating different types of
spaces with various arrangements would be the fundamental element of the
framework’s design. The arrangement of the influential structure was analogous
to a basilica with a central nave and two passageways, swapping the transept
was a moving framework crane across over a system of five rows by fifteen steel
pillars. The central space would accommodate the fundamental activities
(theatre, movies and music), while the side passageways would host the more
social and relaxed servicing activities, such as restaurants, bars, gathering
areas, children areas and workshops. The adaptable ceiling blinds would protect
the users from the rain. Despite the fact that the structure did not comprise
of external walls , the structure included warm air barriers to eliminate them.
The following space that would have existed, would modify its shape through impermanent
and adjustable barriers: fiber panels, optical barriers, pressed aluminium
curtains and curtains made of quilted lead foil 1. Moreover, the plans included a high-level suspension
grid, which would be the only static element of the structure that was not
capable of movement, the rest of the components would be able to be adapted in
any way while creating different types of spaces and environments. The complex
would gain pedestrian movement through the placements of the staircases in the
structure. The aspects of ‘fluidity and fun’ were enhanced  deliberately by not having a specific
entranceway which consequently allowed the public to walk freely throughout the
structure without the interference of a prescribed pathway and a set of rules
to follow. 

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