"The world is a stage - Public architecture is the staging of all events of life."

Bucky Bar

Spontaneously built Bucky Bar leads to large public street party

On Friday evening Feb. 19th the illegal appearance of the Bucky Bar led to a spontaneous street party in wintertime. The dome bar made entirely of umbrellas, seemed to appear suddenly out of nowhere around a lamppost in the centre of Rotterdam. The fully equipped bar, complete with DJ and drinks, was built directly on site. Approximately 300 visitors danced despite the cold under the umbrella roof, until at 2:00am when the police ended the party, as there was no permit.

Visitors were asked to gather Friday night at 10 PM at a junction at Witte de With / Schiedamsevest and bring an umbrella to personally contribute to the spontaneous building. Exactly at 10 the party started in full swing, and old and young, architects and coincidental visitors danced together despite the cold. Umbrellas were attached to each other into one big shelter, so even a bit of rain didn't kill the party.

The Bucky Bar was part of a series of five unsolicited positive proposals for the future of the city of Rotterdam, that DUS architects in collaboration with the NAi Studio for Unsolicited Architecture launched by night by modifying official municipal billboards by pasting their own ideas over the top.

The Bucky Bar was first in the series to be realized, made from the most common and yet most unusual of building materials: umbrellas. The title refers to the great American inventor, Buckminster Fuller, who demonstrated how minimal energy geodesic domes could open a way to a more environmentally sustainable future. Could an umbrella dome to lead the way to a more socially sustainable future? The Bucky Bar is a full-scale model of such a future. It shows the power of space for spontaneous gathering, for improvised shelters to host conversations, debates, games or even parties. Quote of the night: "when is the next party?!".

Client: Studio for Unsolicited Architecture (SUA) / Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi)
Program: Opening performance for the exhibition Architecture of Consequence
Location: Rotterdam
Phase: Realised 2010
Project team: Hans Vermeulen, Martine de Wit, Hedwig Heinsman, Rory Hyde (SUA), Anneke Abhelakh (SUA)