The Prestige – a stage for clowns

The project is a satirical architectural manifesto that explores a paradoxical space where the Government, as a symbol of authority and power, collides with a Circus. The proposal examines the relationship between two radically different groups of activities with the aim for clowns in all sorts of sense to co-exist simultaneously in the same, parallel space. The study initiated from common traits found between the two entities. Behind the marvelous, pristine facade and their promised wonder and joy is a corrupted core and unethical cruelty.

Through conceptual ideas of rational space and structural organisation, the political symbolism and humour is translated into an architectural form of solid brick structure. The non-hierachical facade with no back or front is a quiet gesture of visual illusion formed by the twisted and layered structural archways. The sequences of colonnades create a slow suspense around the towering central silo monolithic singularity.

The main acts, either it being a political debate or a performance of an illusionist, are hosted in the silo. The spatial plan originated from the idea of a three ring circus with each ring collapsing into each other. In the main performance space on the first floor, each ring can be separated with movable acoustic walls if needed. This adaptability facilitates both politicians and actors to perform simultaneously, overlay and echo each other. The interior of the silo is a dream-like space that mimics a silhouette of a circus tent – shaped with the suspended internal lightings and hanging fabric from the floor above like a puppeteer stage hovering over the audience.