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29/06/2010 > The Private Opening for friends and family

The Team!!

Photographs of the Reflective Room at the Private Opening


Todays progress:

First layer of skin complete and weatherproofed on both the long ‘L’ and small ‘L’ constructions

The bench is being fixed

The second layer of skin is starting to go up!

The skin sheets have been CNC’d, sanded down and glued together.

The final process before taken on-site involves weather-proofing the skin by coating it in oil.

The boys in their protective gear >>>



Fixing the first layer of skin to the structure >>>

Date: 16/06/2010

Photo’s of today’s progress:

Fixing in the top tabs.

The builders in their gear.

View from the Museum bridge.

Lifting the corner fins and tabs construction to fix into place.

Lifting the smal ‘L’ short side construction to fix into place.  

Both corners and short sides done.

The end of the day. Big ‘L’ fin and tab construction complete!

Group meeting today. Discussions into site logistics and media and marketing.

Watch a short film of the building of the 1:1 prototype!

Entire Reflective Room Group Meeting with the 30 participating students and 4 design tutors . Issues discussed included fire regulations, security and surveillance, building control and the planning application.

Stay tuned for more 1:1 Prototype model photos!

Reflective Room is a project that developed from Matthew Mills’ Panoramic Environment, the Reflective Room proposal was developed by a collective team consisting of Adam Atraktzi, Anna Parker, David Kent, Mark Bonshek, Matthew Mills and Spencer Fretwell.

‘Reflective Room’ inspired by the subtle changes to the courtyard throughout the course of the day, as one season moves to the next: The weather continually changing the experience of the site. People passing by, ambling and drifting through, often unaware of the birds in the trees, the refraction of the sunlight or the subtle changes to the material qualities of the site, of the ever changing atmosphere.  A room is to be fabricated in the courtyard that draws people within and focuses their attention towards these conditions, through glazed reflections; a place for heightened awareness of being. A room within which people can engage with the courtyard, to sit and relax, to contemplate and see the courtyard anew, to see themselves anew. The aim is to revive an awareness of the environment, by utilising the ordinary to create the sublime. By taking an off-the-shelf standard black glazed ceramic tile and placing it within a plywood skin, offset by a plywood structure.

The inherent qualities of this replicable tile component, its delicately reflective surface, are all contrasted with the plywood; rough to smooth, matt to shiny, pale to black.

The structure gradually reveals itself, enticing you in; small openings provide glimpses of the space beyond, as fragmented glazed reflections build an abstraction of the surroundings.  The largeness of the site is reduced to the human scale. Sounds bounce around the courtyard as you quietly sit and observe, listen and touch.

The courtyard in front of the Museums main entrance is empty and unanimated for the majority of the year, and given that it is a large and prime space in front of a Museum which has nearly 300,000 visitors a year, represents an unexploited opportunity to engage the public and to signal the presence of the Museum. This brief sets out the parameters for the development of a temporary structure in the Museums courtyard for the summer of 2010.


To develop a temporary structure which will:

– Engage people with the Museums theme of Working Towards a Sustainable World and/or with the themes of the Darwin Festival (evolution, science, etc)

– Generate national and international interest through its innovative approach

– Allow the Museum to undertake some outdoor programming over the summer

30 students from the Manchester School of Architecture submitted their proposals to be shortlisted by the Museum staff. This blog will document the 30 proposals along with the 5 shortlisted.