Ana Morcillo Pallares Ann Arbor POP_UP Theater

Today, contexts of impermanence and crisis challenge our role as architects and
designers and question the logics of permanence in an urban environment. From this point of departure, this section invites students to create a dramatic and temporary new typology of theatre space. By focusing on a short-term intervention and by allowing students a form of aesthetic freedom, this new pop-up space looks forward to finding new starting points to broaden participation and attract new audiences to the theater. From this particular approach, the studio will require a reimagination of new visual and atmospheric relationships in the urban fabric while entering into dialogue with the brutalist architecture of the Performing Arts Power Center by Dinkeloo and Roche.

By embracing contradictions as well as complexities of Downtown Ann Arbor, Power Center will become our anchor site to explore ideas of boundaries, scenery, threshold, and shared space. The section will rely on the picturesque tradition to allow students to observe this territory with new eyes. A sensibility, which will lead students to observe edges, borders, lines of contrasts or superimposition of different worlds. A rearrangement and alteration of the built-up landscape that will offer students very concrete tools to decode and even appreciate hidden aspects of the variety, stratification and theatricality of the city.

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Student Work

Abigail Incontro – “Inside Out: A Conflict of Qualities”

When a person goes to the theater, they immerse themselves in a world different from their own. This presents a conflict between oneself and their environment, a conflict that is highly relevant in the performance itself. What inevitable conflict happens when an inverse reality is inserted into this traditional theater? This proposal takes the characteristics of the existing Power Center and turns them inside out. This theater inside of a theater, this theater of self-discovery, is a place where the existing theater ideal is challenged. It is an intrusion into the Power Center that is completely incompatible with the existing language. This conflict, this world inside of a world, is theater in architectural form.

Stephen Grant Parker – “The Veil”

The Veil is a temporary pop up theater that establishes a relationship with the urban fabric of Ann Arbor as well as creates a dialogue with the brutalist architecture of the Performing Arts Power Center. This temporary theater is designed to exploit the opaque concrete facade and the performance of the fly tower’s mechanisms within. By focusing on the mechanisms, The Veil redefines the purpose of the pulleys, battens, and counterweights to create a variety of new performance spaces and relationships. The performance of the occupants and the facade is then revealed to the urban environment through subtle glimpses and peeks of The Veil.

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