22 years ago EGGOPOLIS luminarium was built in Nottingham with help from volunteers and the Community Service workers from the Probation Service. Eggopolis toured the UK together with learning disabled performers from Springwood Day Centre and became a feature of Nottingham playschemes before becoming the first structure toured by Architects of Air. It laid the foundation for a success that has seen the Architects of Air luminaria visited by over 2 million people in 38 countries around the world.
This year, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Architects of Air is creating its 20th luminarium entitled ‘EXXOPOLIS’. EXXOPOLIS takes its inspiration from natural geometry and Islamic architecture. The principal dome – the CUPOLA - was inspired by the circular space of the Chapter House of Southwell Minster.
To commemorate the 20th luminarium, and to celebrate its long association with Nottingham, Architects of Air returned to its roots to involve local people. In partnership with Lakeside Arts Centre local community groups were enlisted in the ‘Windows Project’ workshops to make the intricate ‘stained glass’ windows of the EXXOPOLIS CUPOLA based on a tiling design by Sir Roger Penrose.
In partnership with Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham this build will involve Nottingham people in making the new main dome inspired by the circular space of the Chapter House of Southwell Minster. This dome will feature 10 windows that will be made up of small pieces of coloured plastic designed to create ‘stained-glass’ effect. The design of these windows will be based on Penrose tiling discovered by mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose.
Thanks to the efforts of the community groups and the commitment of the Lakeside Arts Centre we were able to make the spectacular windows. The participant groups in the workshops were: Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum / Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum/ Lakeside Arts Centre / The Lenton Centre / The Textile Workshop Nottingham / Meadows Partnership Trust / Meadows Art Group / East Midlands Parent Bloggers.
The completed structure occupies half a football field and rises to the height of a 3-storey house. EXXOPOLIS took 6 months to build with 55 people contributing to the making. It used 3,000m2 of plastic in its construction in 9,000 individual pieces joined with 6 kilometres of seams.