“All that glitters is not gold” W.S.

De Rosee Sa were invited by Domus Nova to enter a competition to design a Pop-up bar for the ‘Shakespeare in the Squares’. An open theatre event to be held in the gardens and squares of West London this summer.

Taking inspiration from William Shakespeare’s famous quote ‘All that glitters is not gold’, our design proposal questions the relationship between materiality and surface value, creating a public space that suggests a level of opulence and occasion, but fits within the client’s strict budget.

The timber structures create the impression of internal space, with faces that mimic rich marble and stone features but in reality are made of recycled timber terrazzo and formed plastic from yoghurt pots. The bar is set up within the main space, creating an illusion of a scene that promises more than it is.

Externally the structure is expressed to create an eye-catching installation in the park, serving as informal seating before and after the main performance in the park. Like the Georgian and Victorian housing stock of west London or a theatre stage set, the installation plays with structure and facade, value and expense. The individual timber frames create a flexible system that can be adapted to each Private Park scene, with varying levels of enclosure being formed depending on the chosen organisation. The system has been designed so that the minimal amount of cutting is required for simplicity and to reduce waste.

The internal ‘scenes’ are never quite complete so that there is always a reminder of both structure and facade, allowing the spaces to become a strangely familiar abstraction of the traditional interior bar. The resulting spaces can be explored and admired from any angle, allowing the bar to sit more prominently in the park.