THE MANSIO PROJECT

Client: Hexham Book Festival, Arts&Heritage, Tyne and Wear Museums, English Heritage, The Vindolanda Trust
Location: Hadrians Wall
Status: Competition - Shortlisted 2015

The Mansio project is a bespoke and innovative mobile venue, a contemporary teahouse and reading room that will tour important urban and rural sites along Hadrian’s Wall during the summer of 2016.

Our shortlisted design takes its inspiration from geometry of the original Roman Mansios which were once located along Hadrian’s wall. Here we create an Architecture which can be read as a GHOST of a fictional Mansio. At each location the Mansio would change in form through a reconfiguration of its parts suggesting alternative buildings at different sites.

The projects primary material is a kit of “fibre glass interior cast” parts which form the buildings skin and have been designed and developed using an in-depth analysis of the historic Roman Mansios which use to inhabit the sites on which the new building will sit. 

Much like the written fiction which is to be displayed in the space, it is intended that the inhabitant can project their own imaginations into these half described Architectural forms. The fibre glass casts are left naturally translucent and have material textures moulded into them, this purposefully only reveals half of the architectural information allowing the user to imagine the missing details. This translucency will also cause the building to appear like a glowing lantern on the horizon when it is being used for an event in the evening. 

The building can change at each location on the tour through the reconfiguration of the 4 standard 2m x 2m x 2m boxes and can be easily transported on a single truck.