Musical Boxes in Manchester

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BDP, a Manchester, U.K., firm created a temporary music venue for kids
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a sail-like canopy, formed from wire rigging and truck tarpaulins, was suspended over the central area
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the ubiquitious shipping container has been retrofitted in various ways to create alternative spaces, and there’s good reason – they're cheap, plentiful, indestructable and spacious
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some of the containers have became micro-performance spaces kitted out with recording and animation gear, while others house interactive installations that encourage little visitors to engage with sound and vision
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Using 78 shipping containers, the U.K.’s BDP created a multi-faceted musical playground for kids.

The ubiquitious shipping container has been retrofitted in various ways to create alternative spaces, and there’s good reason – they’re cheap, plentiful, indestructable and spacious. For these reasons, the container was the perfect choice for BDP, a Manchester, U.K., firm that created a temporary music venue for kids last month, on the grounds of the famed Manchester International Festival.

The mini musical city, called Music Boxes, is contructed from 78 steel units stacked in an irregular pattern – eschewing the traditional logic of containers in linear rows. An elliptical, enveloping layout was developed to evoke the natural geometry and symmetry of sound.

Other features including a sail-like canopy, formed from wire rigging and truck tarpaulins, was suspended over the central area. And giant, super-graphic signage panels were affixed to the ends of the containers. Of the project, Gavin Elliot, BDP board director, said: “We wanted to reflect both the industrial heritage of Salford Quays,” where the festival grounds are located, and acknowledge “the next chapter of its regeneration, which will see working docks return to the area some 30 years after the last ones closed.”

Since being installed some of the containers have became micro-performance spaces kitted out with recording and animation gear, while others house interactive installations that encourage little visitors to engage with sound and vision.

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