Da Bureau Builds a Temple of Light for a St. Petersburg Cinema
Movies are essentially works of light, which makes designing theaters for them a question of sculpting spaces in the dark. For Mirage cinema, a new space on Petrograd Side in St. Petersburg, INTERIOR DESIGN 2021 Best of Year Rising Star Da Bureau accomplished just that, transforming a 22,000-square-foot building into a mysterious, theatrical tribute to the magic of the dark.
But first, they had to organize. “The main space of the project, the two-story lobby, which gathers all the spectators and from where they disperse to the auditoriums was completely redesigned,” says cofounder and head architect Boris Lvovskiy. On the ground floor, the landscape is a cool gray tone, appropriate for a temple to the Silver Screen. The gray slowly gradates as it rises to the second floor via a reconceived staircase, transforming into a spectacular red that recalls the bulbs used in film developing rooms. They clarified back of house operations, as well, rethinking the internal zones for staff and projectionists, and introducing the new MKitchen food and beverage service, which delivers to the auditoriums.
Back into the light: Da Bureau then filled the space with large-scale light cubes. They form the ticket desk, architectural details, and wayfinding for the auditoriums and other functional spaces. Their default is white, but they don’t stop there. “The light settings change and adjust to the main colours of the film” being shown, he says. “The cubes shimmer. It is a very vigorous and vibrant space.” What’s more, he notes, “each cinema hall has its own unique character with light and sound effects when the visitors enter and wait, and before the film begins.” That certainly beats the standard barrage of commercials. “It’s designed to interact with the emotions that people go to the cinema for,” he says.
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