These gigantic Roker Pods are in Roker, a seaside resort in the UK's port city of Sunderland. Designed by art collective Art Gene, they were commissioned by the Sunderland City Council to serve as mobile community spaces for residents.
It's one thing to design and render these spherical structures…
…but somebody had to figure out how to actually make them. The task fell to fabrication firm Millimetre. As they describe:
"The Roker Pods were commissioned by the Council to turn the needs and views of the local residents into three unique community spaces. One pod is a café, one is an educational space and the third is a performance space. The structures are towable and road-legal, and incorporate renewable solar and wind elements."
"The Pods are 3.5m in diameter, constructed with a GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) interior sphere. Each is supported by a 10mm stainless steel angle framework, over-clad by steam bent oak. They are then mounted on a three-wheeled chassis. Mounted on the chassis and with the renewables fitted the pods are 5.5m tall."
"It was a technically-demanding project, requiring specialist skills and problem-solving. To achieve the resolution and double curvature, the segments were 3D modelled, a CNC template was created and each segment was copy-machined to incorporate curvature to their long sides, prior to steam bending."
If you're in the UK, you can rent these for events here.
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