Studio Weave’s Lullaby Factory for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital is a fantasy steampunk-story-sound-machine with architectural elements of Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, and Constant Nieuwenhuys’ New Babylon, combined with the science-fiction vision of J G Ballard’s Vermilion Sands, and Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The Lullaby Factory has developed the latest elements in narrative technologies to capture Planetary music – the undetectable basis for all music and dreams – and incorporates aesthetically sustainable and eco-cultural soundology including – Lulabuilders, Echohogs, Whistful Fillment Filaments, Satellite Lilters, Hurmurmuring Transmitters, Hushadows and Hahalickles, Wistings Lispers, Fluentoots and Fluentotooting Whoppers, Amber Chambers, Seremitiwinklers, Auranoments, Humabubs, Lollobubble Loopers, Sonorous Syrup, Concording Oars, Pickled Picture Peepers, and a Solilooting Plant.
The Lullaby Factory is an awkward exterior space, with gaps of less than one metre in places, landlocked by buildings at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. The site overlooks a landscape that will not be in place for 15 years. In the intervening period, large windows in the west elevation look directly on to the ‘back’ of the 1930s Southwood Building. Studio Weave has imaginatively metamorphosed the mysterious pipes and plant of the Southwood Building into an idiosyncratic secret world that cannot be seen except from inside the hospital and cannot be heard by the naked ear, only by tuning in to its radio frequency or from a few special listening pipes. The Lullaby Factory, has transformed the space into a fantasy landscape, 32 metres long and 10 storeys high, to distill the sound of dreams, and to manufacture and release gentle, beautiful lullabies to create a calming and uplifting environment.
“Aesthetically the Lullaby Factory is a mix of an exciting and romantic vision of industry, and the highly crafted beauty and complexity of musical instruments. It has been well crafted to age gracefully. We hope the project will inspire engagement in a variety of ways from children’s paintings to a resource for play specialists to a generator for future commissions”. Studio Weave
Studio Weave – Je Ahn and Maria Smith – is a London-based architecture practice set up in 2006. Described by Hugh Pearman as “One of the best of the new wave of psychogeographically-inclined young practices” RIBA Journal. Recent projects include: Ecology of Colour, Dartford; Kintiandi Pavilion, Shanghai; Paleys Upon Piliers, Aldgate, London; St Pancras Church Garden, London; Hear Heres, Kedleston Hall, Derby; The Floating Cinema, London; The Longest Bench, Littlehampton.