Circuses have been a historic gathering place in cities and towns across America. Crowds of people are attracted to the towering tent, local music, and fragrant carnival food. A group of five architects tap into this pop appeal with their project, Circus for Construction, which won a competition in May,2014 held by Storefront for Art & Architecture. Their plan retrofits a semi-truck to transform into a pop-up venue and experimental gallery space for architecture and art.
To get their project moving, the team known as The Spectacle Syndicates have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000. Initial plans include driving the semi-truck to five locations in the New England area—Provincetown, MA; Providence, RI; Ithaca, NY; Buffalo, NY; Portland, ME—and docking in Boston. If funds exceed their goals, they plan on taking the traveling architect’s circus to other major cities.
The Spectacle Syndicate’s design will use a 30-foot-long, goose-neck truck trailer and simple construction materials to build an exhibit that will unfold from the truck to create a festive space for events. The set-up will feature temporary exhibitions, lectures, and workshops that focuses on regional professionals and local talent.
“Circus for Construction will challenge existing ideas about where ‘museums’ or ‘lecture halls’ reside,” the team stated on their Kickstarter page. The carnival effect from the truck unfolding and arriving grandly in a town gives architects a new platform to interact with clientele and peers. Instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar venue, the traveling showcase allows the team to be dynamic with their presentations and incorporate the local brand and specialities of each place. For instance, the semi-truck arriving in Portland can park along the scenic Maine coast, sell Portland-brewed Shipyard beer, and display local architecture projects.
Time to buy your tickets for this circus act.