Sydney Story Factory and the Earth’s first Martian Embassy and Gift Shop have opened in Redfern on 21 July after months of public anticipation.
Arup was one of 30 companies who supported the Martian Embassy project, providing pro bono lighting, acoustic and AV design services. In close collaboration with the architects LAVA, the Arup team of Tim Hunt, Tim Carr, Cameron Heggie and Mitch Allen developed a scheme which took the architectural concept and vision and applied interesting additional layers via light and sound to the design to realise a unique visual and aural experience.
The lighting scheme for the Martian Embassy is based on two main components. Each side of the space is lit with colour changing LED lighting to give the space an ever changing and dynamic ‘Martian’ feel, while track based lighting from above provides general white lighting to working areas and highlights the retail space.
The AV and acoustic design helps provide a working environment through smart selection of materials with the AV sound system providing a custom designed soundscape adding to the overall immersive experience.
The intent of Arup's contribution to the Martian Embassy is to creatively assist in adding another dimension to the space, and to differentiate it from anything that the users would be used to or been in before. This facility encourages creativity in young people and it was important to make the space conducive to that type of work.
“Arup designers are proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this project. We are looking forward to hearing of the success of this remarkable community asset and hopefully we’ll even get to experience a session or two ourselves.”
- Tim Hunt, Arup lighting designer
The Sydney Story Factory is inspired by 826 Valencia, a creative writing centre for young people started by novelist Dave Eggers in San Francisco in 2002. To comply with zoning regulations, the centre had to include a shop so it was fronted by a Pirate Supply Store, selling everything the working buccaneer needs: peg legs, eye patches, parrot feed. It was a great success, providing an imaginative entrance to the writing centre, becoming a landmark in the local community, and raising revenue.
For more information, visit www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au