Gap Filler’s latest project is the Grandstandium, a relocatable mini-grandstand.
The Grandstandium is an addition to the Retro Sports Facility at The Commons. The Grandstandium provides seating for 30 atop a trailer and comes with a scoreboard, commentary box and binoculars for added drama. The Grandstandium is our version of CCDU’s stadium anchor project, presently scheduled for completion in 2019.
The Grandstandium has been designed by Gap Filler co-founder Andrew Just (FIELD) in conversation with Luis Castillo and Matt Brown, engineers at Aurecon. Long-time Gap Filler supporter Steel and Tube have supplied the majority of the materials. Belfast trailer-maker Rodney Hern, from Transport 79 Ltd, along with Slade Engineering and Rikki Berger have helped to create the trailer and superstructure in time for its launch this coming weekend as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture.
Gap Filler was interested in how, with relatively minimal infrastructure, one could define and create public space, almost instantly. We dreamed of spontaneous sporting moments on different spaces around the city or transforming some of the extraordinary construction or demolition projects around the city into crowd-worthy events.
The project developed further in June this year after a conversation with Alejandro Haiek-Coll, a visiting Venezuelan architect and community activist (and artist in residence with The Physics Room and Elam School of Fine Arts). Alejandro was also intrigued by the way people would stop to watch or photograph building demolitions – often stopping in the street to do so. Together with Gap Filler he developed an instant-grandstand project, which, for one day, provided some infrastructure from which people could observe the (controversial) demolition of Centennial Pool earlier this year. The Grandstandium builds on that experiment.
Accompanying infrastructure – commentary box, binoculars and scoreboard – adds an even greater sense of functionality and drama to the Grandstandium. Anything can be turned into a spectator sport that is both enjoyed as entertainment and interpreted by everyone. Commentary and a scoreboard ‘raise’ the seriousness of an egg and spoon race, say, but ‘lower’ the seriousness of a building demolition or construction, or road works – allowing people to judge their performance.
We hope that other groups or communities will use the Grandstandium, making use of it for their own sports, concerts, festivals or other activities.