By Tina Chen & Gloria Riviera
Ole Scheeren, a Beijing-based German architect, turned an American pastime into a once-in-a-lifetime oceanic experience. Earlier this month, movie junkies from across all waters gathered to attend an event organized by the new film festival, "Film on the Rocks Yao Noi" in Thailand. Literally on the rocks, Scheeren created an entirely new movie experience set amidst the jagged shoreline of Yao Noi.
Combining Mother Nature's natural beauty with the clear blue waters of Nai Pi Lae lagoon on Kudu Island, Scheeren hoped to offer film buffs a spiritual experience. The projection screen was centered between the majestic peaks of a Thai lagoon. Event attendees were transported by boat to their floating seats in the "Archipelago Cinema" built on a large raft out of recycled materials. Inspired by the construction of floating lobster farms, the Archipelago Cinema was crafted out of modular constructed pieces meant for reuse.
Scheeren described the project on Architizer.com as "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: a sense of temporality, randomness, almost like driftwood. Or maybe something more architectural: modular pieces, loosely assembled, like a group of little islands that congregate to form an auditorium."
Scheeren's dream proved to be a rare experience. Shortly after its world debut, the floating cinema was dismantled and donated to the village of Yao Noi as a playground and floating stage.