Unbuilt Architecture
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Forest of Theaters

Northwest Center for the Art of Film - Portland, OR

#ArchitecturalDesign #Theater #FilmSchool

Conventional movie theaters isolate audience from the world around us into a closed environment.

WHAT IF we experience the art of film as a social and cultural activity to share among audience and creators in an open environment?


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As the sun goes down, the film center reveals the volumes of wooden theaters in downtown Portland and invites people to gather for film screening.


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The entrance to the theater faces the downtown, drawing people into the building. The great hall at the top looks into the residential neighborhood and the West Hills over the highway, framing a scene for them to discover at the very end.


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Six theaters and a Great Hall are stacked up in a spiral manner, which creates platforms and canopies for open gathering spaces. Stairs and step-seats connect all the levels throughout the building, letting people sit, gather, and share the art of film in the forest of theaters.


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The film center provides two open screens where people interact with each other over food and drinks while watching a film in an open environment.  


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The editing school stands on the long side of the building and faces the theater space at all floors. It visually connects the film creators with the audience in the open screen. 


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The Great Hall waits for people to climb up on the theaters and reach for the final scene of the building.


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The sun sets over the West Hills and the city light illuminates homes of the west neighborhood. The Great Hall offers the audience a moment to look back towards the city they live in, and see their lives through the screen of fictional stories.


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