Designed for the 2010 Architecture Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, this projects is, as the curator Abraham Thomas had asked us, a “space for fiction” with no more than 15m2. Spiral Booths is an open platform for events – music, theatre, dance, exhibitions. It is composed of six booths and a spiral staircase, all of them working like a condenser of performances. It aims to mix a singular, intricate architectural space with the freedom of activities to be programmed within it; be them experimental or didactic, traditional or contemporary, conventional or avant-garde.
The inside is somewhat meandrous and labyrinthine – but also intended to be resilient and versatile. Depending on the activity, the staircase can work either as a corridor or an audience or a stage. Theatre or music performances inside any of the booths can turn the stairs into informal stalls. As the six booths have windows, a concert for six musicians (or a six-puppet play) can be performed to the people outside the box (the Porter Gallery); but if the artist(s) is (are) looking for an intimate relation with the public, the staircase becomes a closed audience. On the other hand, if the booths are used as tiny and cosy exhibition rooms, the objects to be shown can be interactive and induce the visitors to spend a few minutes inside the booths. Examples could be a show of experimental music (i.e., music for turntables), art objects that invite the visitor to touch and manipulate them (see A1 board, diagrams), or interactive TV screens. Invited artists can use the space as something that can trigger a new work (a play for one actor and six booths), but obviously they can be used and adapted for the presentation of classical or well-known works (see A1 board, diagrams).