Festival Stage, Southend
Cassion Castle Architects (in collaboration with Fleet Architects) unveiled the new Village Green Soapbox on Saturday 26 September in Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea. The bespoke 100 sq m music stage was commissioned by arts organisation Metal as a the centrepiece for Southend’s annual Village Green Festival, a one-day free arts event, for the next four years.
The Soapbox is constructed of sustainably sourced softwood timber and polycarbonate and designed as an ‘anti-tent’. It is completely demountable and can be erected and demounted quickly by a small team. Rather than a generic solution it represents a low-tech solution, which is specific to the site, purpose and budget, and takes everyday hard-wearing materials and redeploys them in an elegant form. The design also represents a technical innovation in its deployment of polycarbonate as a structural element enabling the timber elements of the structure to be vastly reduced.
The translucent polycarbonate elevations filter light into the stage in the day. At night the façades is illuminated giving the Soapbox a presence akin to a chinese lantern.