Mind the Gap

Posted by on June 30, 2012

It sounds like the Olympics this summer are going to be an amazing event. The British do know how to put on a show…

While I was looking for photos of the stadium, I came across this proposal for an installation in Trafalgar square. I am almost certain this design was not chosen to be executed, but the write-up that the architects did is pretty perfect.

This is the work of DCPP, a Mexican architecture and design firm. From their website:

Mind the Gap is a temporary information pavilion for the London 2012 Olympic Games, located in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London.

Every athlete talks of a feeling – an experience – that can be defined as the moment of truth.  This is the moment on the track and diving block before the sound of the gun, the second before a penalty kick, the moment before the whistle. 

It is this moment when the decision has been made and there is no turning back.  It is a moment that only lasts a fraction of a second, but during which time stands still, the hopes of millions and the weight of history upon you, the moment you have been preparing for your entire life. 

We want visitors to the London 2012 Olympic Games pavilion to experience this feeling, this moment of truth.  We have created a space that forces the visitor to take a step into the unknown, embodying the point of no return where reality is distorted and time stops. 

We want to create a space that captures the complex emotions of uncertainty, anguish, emotion, and agitation, wrapped up in a threshold that must be individually broken in order to complete the experience.

To capture this moment we created an elevated circular structure composed of five intertwined rings.  From each ring falls a curtain of water, producing a threshold that visitors have to cross, presenting each person with the challenge to take a step into the unknown. 

Once the threshold has been crossed, visitors enter into a sensory space that is completely different than before.  The water here acts as a filter that modifies our perception, our senses are heightened and altered in the interior.  The water curtains will also act a projection screens for all the major events and highlights. 

The construction is light and simple, a ringed steel structure that holds the hoses and faucets and the vertical supports that keep it elevated.  All water is collected at the bottom and pumped back up and there will be plenty of refreshing mist for hot days.

Right?!? I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years, and that moment right before the race starts truly is an eternity that lasts a fraction of a second. I love this project and the ideas behind it, but I imagine there would be some major infrastructure to construct and maintain. It was probably cost prohibitive.

But what an amazing idea.


All images from the DCPP website

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