‘Acoustic Shells’ by Flanagan Lawrence
Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK | 2014
Sited in a sunken garden beside the beach in Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK, these ‘Acoustic Shells’ act as a stage and shelter for the local community. Prompted by a desire to reinvigorate Littlehampton with its gentility of the early 20th century, the shells materially enhance the public open space of the adjacent greensward and satisfy an essential social need that is not provided elsewhere in the area.
The concept for the shells is derived from the notion of a traditional bandstand; following the industrial Revolution and worsening conditions in urban areas, bandstands were conceived as a response by local authorities to an increased need for green open spaces where the general public could relax. Following the first bandstand in Britain in the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens in South Kensington in 1861, bandstands became hugely popular and were subsequently installed in parks across the country. Competing with new medias in the 20thC; cinema and television, bandstands lost their appeal and fell into disuse.