Considering that three members of Pink Floyd met while studying design—and by drummer Nick Mason's own admission, this background influenced everything from songwriting to set design—the English prog rock pioneers could be called the architectural band bar none, even if design students born after 1980 might be reluctant to agree. To pay tribute to this legacy, the International Competitions in Architecture recently put out a call for a house of Pink Floyd, which Portuguese design collective Arqbauraum answered with this structural experience. Without any constraints as to site, size, or function, they came up with a building aimed to "return to man a place for him to pulse with the world, a space that appealed to solidarity and to the strength of the use of words." Trippy, right?
To honor the band that introduced wayward youths the world over to the Art Deco enormity of London's Battersea Power Station, Arqbauraum allowed themselves at least one literal interpretation of a Pink Floyd lyric. Inverting "another brick in the wall," the tubular steel frame that forms the façade of their design was made to resemble a deconstructed brick wall with only the mortar left behind, as if promising some transcendent escape from conformity. Once inside, visitors would be encouraged to "wander through a synesthetic route" that begins with a faux-baptismal wall of water and leads through a darkened hallway where, in a seeming reference to Plato's Cave, projected human shapes take on outsized proportions. Eventually, and perhaps a bit anti-climactically, given how far-out the place sounds up to this point, the experience ends at a library and a listening room.
Wanting for an opinion on all that? As one Wired commenter explains, "It's far too dark, at least in the pictures. It's as though the designers only listened to Animals & The Wall." Arqbauraum's efforts didn't end up winning them the competition, but they did get a few speaking opportunities based on the experience of conceptualizing the place. Meanwhile, in the English beach town of Brighton, guitarist David Gilmour just wants his humble bike shed back.
· A Trippy Museum Inspired by Pink Floyd [Wired]
· All Pink Floyd coverage [Curbed National]
· "A House For Pink Floyd" Competition Entry/Arqbauraum [Arch Daily]