Weijia Yu

A Daydream: Breaking the fourth wall

THE CONCEPT OF the project is to re-imagine the experience of the cinema, translating the interface between dream and reality from film into an architectural space. Working with Regent Street Cinema, the thesis aims to break down the fourth wall between the stage screen and the auditorium, converting this central London venue into an experiential cinema which offers different ways to watch and engage in films.

The project started by analysing the Japanese Noh theatre, extracting the concept of the mirror room and transforming it into a physical reality. The element of mirrors connects the spaces so that they are both independent of each other but integrated, breaking the fourth wall in a new conceptual way. Translated to the Regent Street cinema, with its historic stage and cinema screen, the thesis creates areas with different atmospheres where cinema can become a performance and live theatre can be distanced by the screen. Through analysis of two films: Alice in Wonderland and Inception, emotional experiences and triggers from these two films were identified and re-imagined within the physical reality of the cinema, creating interconnections and interactions between the spaces and how films would be experienced and viewed.

The design transforms the entire cinema space by creating areas with emotional and experiential differences which visitors can move through to heighten or counteract the experience of watching the film; breaking the fourth wall of the screen and mirroring various views. For example, the intimate and enclosed safe area of the small viewing room, the dining area where you can taste and imbibe with Alice, or the relaxed lounging auditorium.

MORE is a part of Open Studio project run by the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster to make its design, research and practice-based work available online while it is happening.

University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Reg no. 977818 England.