Podium is first and foremost a dive performance space. It’s a place to organically introduce proper dive etiquette and safe swimming distances on the reef. The form of podium is inspired by gothic arches, smoothing them out so that your eye is guided down from the surface to rest a few feet above the sand. It is a place with a clear sense of familiarity; whether you are snorkeling above or diving within it, it feels both enveloping and welcoming.
Podium was designed to be an introduction to underwater performance and a place to broaden the experiencer's understanding of what is possible underneath the waves. It is a place for fish to go about their daily lives, a place for visiting, a spiritual destination. Podium seeks to cement the importance of the reef as a living thing and not a memory.
Podium is designed around the 3 primary oceanic zones so that Podium engages with the full breadth of oceanic flora and fauna.
The arrangement of Podium pieces is based on the quadrafoil, a very prominent feature in European architecture.
An underwater amphitheater for the interaction between people and the reef
Pelagic Zone: The open water column.
Demersal Zone: Water that is greater than 1m above the seafloor as well as close to the sea floor.
Benthic Zone: Directly on the sea floor.
“I designed Podium to evoke a sense of awe and majesty in the visitors of all walks and swims of life, cementing the importance of the reef within living memory.”
- guyon brenna
Esplanade was designed to be a swimming path nestled within the reef. It provides a sense of place and contrasts not only with the surroundings, but also with its form, with life growing loudly on verticals and hushed on horizontals.
The building blocks of your restoration masterpiece
Using a single form the pieces stack upward always aligned then horizontally regress.
Esplanade draws a path, for audience and inhabitant, formed of a mirrored flight of slabs. This motion will participate in a cycle to house and bear the stages of life on the Esplanade.
“The artificial landscape progressively moves towards solving the problem of unintentional damage to growing reefs by curating visitor movement along furrows; discouraging touch while encouraging exploration.”
- guyon brenna
About the Designers
Stirling Brenna has designed well over 45 theatre sets for operas, plays, and musicals and has performed on Broadway as an actor. Guyon Brenna, has won entry into the Buckminster Fuller Catalyst program in 2017 for oceanic structure design and was named one of the 30 Under 30 from Earth X in 2018. Together, they designed Podium and Esplanade.
"I have so admired Guyon for his Architectural design focus, and was so pleased to work together on this project in the university theatre building. Where we answered how a stage underwater could bring aquatic life to performances of dance, music, and culture." - Stirling
"Stirling was such a great collaborator on these projects. His background in scene design brought real depth to our understanding of the ways people will view and invest themselves within the forms and activities of the space. We had a very healthy competitive spirit throughout the projects where we were in a constant state of idea one-upmanship, continually pushing each other to be better." - Guyon