LOTUS SPIRITUAL ARENA

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GLEN HOWARD SMALL AND CARLOS OVALLE  ARCHITECTS   2014

OUT OF THE BLUE IN THE FALL OF 2013 I GET THIS E MAIL FROM  MICHELLE  LA PENAL – A GRAPHIC DESIGNER IN ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA – REPRESENTING A CASS PHELPS  ABOUT DOING A PROJECT FOR THEM IN  BIOMORPHIC MODE.  SHE LOOKED UP BIOMORPHIC ON THE INTERNET AND I CAME UP.  TALK ABOUT A PROJECT FROM HEAVEN.

THEY WERE INTO A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE  EXPERIENCE WITH EMPHASIS OF MAKING A PLACE WHERE THOSE PEOPLE CAME TOGETHER  FROM DANCE EXERCISE PERFORMANCES TO LECTURES,  BODY MASSAGES, FOOD AND PLANTS.  CASS PHELPS BEING THE ATTRACTION AND HAVING A FOLLOWING IN THOSES CIRCLES.

IT SOUNDED A BIT FAR FETCHED,  BUT I AGREED WITH THE DIRECTION.  THIS WAS A LARGE PROJECT THAT NEEDED COLLABORATION TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER  SO CARLOS OVALLE CAME ON BOARD AS MY PARTNER.  OUR FIRST MEETING WAS WITH MICHELLE AT A HEALTH FOOD RESTAURANT.  IMMEDIATELY THERE SEEMED TO BE A SHORTAGE OF MONEY TO DO SUCH A PROJECT.  BUT CARLOS SAID THEY WERE THE IDEAL CLIENTS FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS. WE DID CONFERENCE CALLS FROM NICARAGUA TO GET THINGS ROLLING.

CARLOS GOT SERIOUS WITH A CONTRACT AND DID A LOT OF BACK AND FORTH NEGOTIATION BEFORE WE SETTLED FOR PEANUTS TO DO A DESIGN IMAGE STUDY SO THEY COULD RAISE MONEY.  MY DESIGN IMAGES MUST BE BACKED UP WITH THE FUNCTIONS AND BUILD-ABLE UNDERSTANDING.

THE PROGRAM REVEALED A NEED TO TRAVEL THROUGH THE COUNTRY AND SETTING UP TO DO THEIR THING.  LIKE A CIRCUS, BUT FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME.  HAVING TO BREAK IT ALL DOWN  FOR CARGO CONTAINERS FOR TRUCKS.   THE FOOD KITCHEN REQUIREMENTS BECAME MOTOR HOMES,  THAT WERE NOT PERMANENT,  THUS SKIRTING THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMANENT KITCHENS.

WERE MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS OF THE AUDIENCE BEING THE PERFORMERS AS WELL SO I MADE THE SEATS STACK UP OR PULL OUT DEPENDING ON THE NEED.

THE ROOF OPENED UP  AND ADJUSTED TO STAR-GAZING OR SUN-SHADING.  THE FABRIC BEING COVERED WITH FLEXIBLE SOLAR CELLS. THE PROGRAM STATEMENT WANTING TO BE AS ECOLOGICAL AS POSSIBLE.  NEVER GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVESTIGATE ALL THE WAYS THAT COULD HAPPEN,  BUT WE WOULD HAVE MADE IT GREEN.

THERE WAS A LIVING ASPECT OF THE PERFORMERS AND VENDORS SO A MODULAR FRAME WAS INTRODUCED TO DO VENDING AND LIVING.

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A DONUT SCHEME  WITH THE ARENA IN THE MIDDLE

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SCHEME 1 WAS LIKE A BABY CARRIAGE HOOD THAT OPENED UP AND COULD BE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF ENCLOSURE.  A COOL IDEA, BUT WHEN I CAME TO ARRANGING THE ARENA WITH PIE SEATING ELEMENTS I MOVED TO SCHEME 2 THAT RESPECTED THE PIE LAYOUT.

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A SKETCH LOOKING FROM THE TOP WALKWAY TRACK OF THE ARENA LOOKING DOWN AT THE VENDERS DISPLAYS AND OUT TO THE MOBILE FOOD KITCHEN  ON THE PERIMETER.

WE WERE CONTEMPLATING INFLATING ARCHED ROOF RAFTERS IN THIS SKETCH.

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SCHEME 2  STARTED OUT WITH A STANDARD ENCLOSED TENT IN PIE SEGMENTS.

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THE PIE SEGMENTS OPENING.

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LOWERING THE SLOPE OF THE ROOF

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THE ENTRANCE WING REACHED OUT TO LURE ONE IN.
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IN FULL BLOOM

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THERE CAME A POINT WHERE THE RETAINER FEE WAS LONG GONE AND I WAS WORKING ON EMPTY.  TO MY SURPRISE MICHELLE  ASKED FOR COLOR RENDERING TO PUT A BROCHURE TOGETHER WITH NO ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR US.   THANK GOD FOR CARLOS.  HE CALMED ME DOWN AND SAID I HAVE TWO CHOICES     (1) TERMINATE THE  PROJECT OR (2) DELIVER WHAT THE CLIENT ASKED FOR. I KEPT SILENT AND BIT THE BULLET AND DID THE COLOR RENDERINGS.    A WIN-WIN SITUATION.  SOMETHING I AM PROUD OF.

CASS PHELPS RECENTLY CHECKED IN SAYING HE IS STILL SHOWING THE SCHEME AND WAITING FOR FUNDING.   MICHELLE AT THE MOMENT OUT IN THE REAL WORLD OF PUTTING HER SON THROUGH COLLEGE.

IT ALL SEEMED SO LOGICAL TO ME,  AND A LOT BETTER THAN THE EXISTING CIRCUS TENTS.  THE PROJECT ACHIEVED UNIVERSAL BEAUTY.   A WINNER.

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HOW COOL WOULD THIS BE TO BE IN?

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ENDLESS LIGHTING POSSIBILITIES

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A LOTUS FLOWER ARENA,   ABOUT TO BE ON THE ROAD AGAIN

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5 comments

  1. I’ve very much enjoyed working with Glan Small on the work ups for my vision! This project is fully developed and ready to put into motion. I’m calling in change-makers with solid funding. Those who are looking to be a part of a new kind of education and community event that brings new world technologies and lifestyles grounded in planetary conservation, preservation and growth. Imagine a place where the normal masses can come and get excited about living a healthy Eco sustainable lifestyle, feeling alive and inspired about their personal life path while playing celebrating and exploring in likeminded community. Thank you Glen for sharing this project and for beating willing to offer your genius! My best, Cass

  2. I showed this work to a group of doctors. They were impressed by concept. There is a popular aspect to the work that people can relate to. The Universal beauty. What stops them from going onwards is that it different, and difficult to build. People conservatively compare what their parent or grandparents thought was correct. Its gonna take a few generations..

    • thanks eric for commenting.

      different yes, but beautiful yes

      with all the wild structures being built, like disney hall downtonwn LA , that has been well accepted you would think, that different is sought after not frowned upon.

      i forgot to mention the seating is standard retractable for concert halls. a stock item.

      glen

  3. Glen good to see you again in Joshua Tree. And yes I live a decadent life. Like in a circus. And your LOTUS ARENA is a new better version of a circus tent. When I was thinking biologically, that of radial forms being stationary, I was not thinking lightweight tents or membranes. Again, this is a different solution on an old problem. Bravo.

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