Ruby Melhuish

The Lightbox

Bachelor of Design Interior Design Public Space Public Film Community

Rooftop Cinema and Bar Venue Fort Lane

Cinema first erupted as a collection of images placed together to create a moving image, often capturing the essence of a busy city’s day to day life. With the advancement of cinema, have we lost touch with activating the cinematic elements which surround us today? The world we live in is a display of cinema, constantly evolving and changing to variants. Fort Lane serving once as a place of distraction and entertainment for the community has instead crept back to a place where it leaves little to the imagination. Through the use of light projection and materiality, I hope to awaken the curiosity in the viewer through interaction with the site becoming a part of the cinematic atmosphere and restoring a sense of cinema back to Fort Lane once again.

The project looked to re-purposing the top floor of the Carpark building in Fort Lane and transforming it into a rooftop cinema space for the community to enjoy. Nestled in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, you are exposed to the vast cinematic landscape of the city. Visitors are able to glance down below to Fort Lane capturing the essence of the everyday life.

I looked to incorporate contrasting materials and colours to further activate the cinematic experience while using light projection to display movement throughout the site. The industrial materials used to connect the project to the industrial history of Fort Lane, while incorporating softer natural materials to relate to textiles often used in theatre.

The Bar area has been created with entertaining in mind, allowing visitors to have a refreshing drink while watching a film, or watching the day go by. The vertical folding metal windows allow the space to be opened up, providing a unique outdoor bar experience. The interior bar space provides bench seating for small groups while still feeling exposed to the outdoor space.

The Cinema Space has been designed to provide a new experience to Auckland as there are currently no rooftop cinemas. The Cinema Space is sheltered by a retractable roof which allows for all year use, opening and closing to unveil the sky above. To maximise the use of the space, I chose to incorporate foldable chairs, the chairs can be folded and stored away to clear the space for other uses.