Boat Party | Option Studio

Option Studio: The Curious Chronicles of Unusual Spaces
Professor William O'Brien Jr.
Spring 2017


Boat Party is an annual festival of northern Icelandic arts and culture, which takes place on the Eyjafjarðará river during the spring melt season.

Boat Party’s unfixed architecture engages the river’s rhythms and cycles, from the winding banks upstream, to the tidal flats and fjord downstream.

The Party occurs on a series of generic boat types, which are differentiated by their size, the position and length of their walls, and how open or closed their operable heavy mesh curtains are.

The boats can be connected via hinges into casual compositions (I have made five such scenarios), but they can also float unattached. It’s glamping meets lazy river, the design of nondesign.

The radius in plan allows the boats to roll off and around one another, rotating from a tangential touch to a side-by-side nuzzle. Think of them like Cheerios in milk.

The walls are always a non-continuous offset of the boat edge.

Where they exist, the roofs have one or more circular skylights, which, when seen from above, reveal the familiar form of toy Duplo blocks, a nod to the playful organizational and compositional possibilities beyond the five scenarios.