Watch a demolition from the grandstand

23:35, Oct 22 2014
SPECTATOR SPORT: An artist’s impression of Gap Filler’s new project – Grandstandium.
SPECTATOR SPORT: An artist’s impression of Gap Filler’s new project – Grandstandium.

A mini and relocatable grandstand has been designed so people can among other things observe "crowd-worthy" demolitions in comfort.

Gap Filler's latest project, Grandstandium, provides covered seating for 30 people on a trailer. It comes with a scoreboard, commentary box and binoculars for added drama.

Designed by Gap Filler co-founder Andrew Just, the project was developed this year after a conversation with Alejandro Haiek-Coll, a visiting Venezuelan architect and community activist intrigued by the way people would stop on the street to watch or photograph building demolitions.

They developed an instant-grandstand project that provided infrastructure for people to observe the controversial demolition of Centennial Pool earlier this year. The Grandstandium builds on that experiment.

Project co-ordinator Trent Hiles said Gap Filler was interested in how, with relatively minimal infrastructure, one could define and authenticate space, almost instantly.

"We dreamed of spontaneous sporting moments on different spaces around the city, or transforming some of the extraordinary demolition or construction projects around the city into crowd-worthy events."

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He hoped other groups or communities would borrow the Grandstandium, making use of it for their own sports, concerts, festivals or other activities.

Gap Filler co-founder and director Coralie Winn, speaking from Adelaide, where she is sharing ideas with its city council, said accompanying infrastructure - commentary box, binoculars and scoreboard - added an even greater sense of functionality and drama to the Grandstandium.

"Anything can be turned into a spectator sport that is both enjoyed as entertainment and interpreted by everyone," she said.

"Commentary and a scoreboard raise the seriousness of an egg and spoon race, say, but lower the seriousness of a building demolition or construction, or road works - allowing people to judge their performance."

Watching demolitions could be an emotionally charged event but it guaranteed spectators, she said.

"It is human behaviour, where obviously many of us are drawn to it."

The Grandstandium would be available to community groups to borrow for events in return for possible koha, or a rental charge for larger businesses, she said.

"It's got quite a fun element to it, encouraging people to have a go at commentating."

The Grandstandium will be launched at The Commons on Saturday, as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture.

The Press