Opening a new movie theater in an existing building in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam, our client wishes to update the nondescript façade and install a structure that is more in line with the function of a movie theater and attracts theater-goers from afar. We are proposing a cost-effective solution that is easy to install and does not require an excessive construction effort. The project is currently awaiting the construction permit.
All starts with the idea of the new façade as a screen, a screen towards and for the city, a screen against the sun heating up the existing glass façade. The façade as a screen can be used for projections, or as a sculpture of light, or just as a glimmering and shining window into the world of imaginations. Therefore, the metaphor of the screen can be taken both literally and in a figurative sense. A screen for projections of text, movie scenes, pieces of art, and of one's thoughts: not everything is perceived clearly, can be explained easily.
The new screen tries to bring a part of the emotional experience of the cinema to the outside, to the façade. The multiple layers of metallic mesh and the pattern of the structure filter and blur light, create a depth, just like the cinema does with the movie screen. The blurred façade creates curiosity with people walking by, it pulls you in. Like a good movie trailer, it creates a promise without giving too much away at first glance.
Just as it blurs and filters the light coming from inside the new façade at night, it does the same with the sun light radiating onto the building. As it will function as sun shading, it will reduce the amount of energy spent for cooling / air conditioning the interior.
We believe it is right to add some gesture that anchors back to aspects of the Vietnamese culture, to root the new façade in its location. Our inspiration came from Vietnamese bamboo weaving patterns, finding its articulation in the structure of the façade. Or it could be a material that relates to Vietnam, used in a modern way, pointing into the future.
This detail will give the façade an iconic visual identity. The pattern will be used throughout the building, for parts of different scales, be it furniture, wall partitions, fabrics etc.
Several considerations make us propose a light-weight structure: first, it is easy to install, and fast to install. It can be prefabricated off-site, reducing the amount of work and time needed on site. Then, it also helps saving resources, it is more environmentally friendly, be it a light steel framing or a bamboo construction. Instead of setting up a more solid structure to change the appearance of the unpleasant existing building, we propose to "blur" the existing façade in an intelligent way with the least amount of elements necessary.
The interior of the cinema features an imaginary space that abandons the traditional movie theater experience and serves as meeting place and cultural venue. We propose to transform the lobby into a living-room-like space for the city. An open space that is inviting, that makes people want to spend more time, even people who are not there to watch a movie. Extending the time that people stay in the lobby will also lead to more money they spend. The lobby would feature different zones and functions, a socializing space where guest stay and discuss the movie they just have watched, instead of going to a nearby bar.
The roof-top sky bar could be a similar space. In close connection to a more flexible, thematic cinema, we imagine the sky bar to be partly open to the outdoors.
Those spaces open to the public and to all age groups intend to put the new cinema on the map as a space for entertainment, arts and socializing in Hanoi.