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Published 11/09/2017 email E-MAIL print PRINT

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Studio Ben Allen: The Clearing

On the first floor cafe/bar of Folkestone’s Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy, architect Ben Allen has created an ornate gothic pavilion as a “visitor centre” for the triennial. The Clearing was inspired by a request from the curatorial team for an immersive work. Studio International asked Allen where the idea for this structure came from and what it is trying to express

Having recently finished a long stint in Olafur Eliasson’s Berlin studio, immersive is second nature for Allen. The title is inspired by a Heideggerian term, meaning a space in which anything at all can manifest, or ideas can be revealed. The Clearing also evokes trees, hence the gothic, tree-like structure featuring geometries inspired by medieval French vaulting. Says Allen: “In our work we’re very interested in how buildings make people feel. It’s a very sensory space and this structure changes the acoustic and makes light feel very different.” With mirrors placed either side of it, the effect is magnified.

Studio Ben Allen: The Clearing
Folkestone Triennial 2017
2 September – 5 November 2017

Interview by VERONICA SIMPSON
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY



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