Look Up / Look Down
An abstract look at the future of the practice and performance of synchronised swimming - providing a connection between the performers and the audience through experimental viewing mechanisms.
The aim of the proposal is to redefine the way that the audience and performers interact within synchronised swimming. An abstract piece focusing on mechanics and interconnection, it has a deep-rooted base in the history of the sport. Synchronised swimming began as a circus sideshow but over time became competitive and regimented - forgetting the beautiful artistic elements. Rectangular pools and seating designed for speed swimming removed from the experience of both the audience and the swimmers.
Located on the Old Caledonian Railway Viaduct over the River Clyde, the form is based on simple bridge architecture while taking inspiration from the work of Richard Rogers. The steel trusses provide a frame for the programme - while allowing for a glimpse into the building through the translucent façade. The circular pool itself - the key focus - appears to float above the river with the glass base and transparent frame. The drum which it sits in is inspired by Victorian gas holders, linking to the industrial history of the site, while the lifting mechanisms through which the audience views the sport are inspired by the travelling circuses and theme park rides of the sport's origin.
The journeys of the performers and the audience are interwoven: each group enters the building at the same place, splits off into the café and exhibition space, or the changing and training area, and then the groups are reunited at the pool - with everyone viewing or performing in close proximity.