A box with just enough space for one performer and one spectator.

Folk in a Box is the world’s smallest and most mobile music venue. Sponsored by the Heritage Arts Company, the project consists of a travelling Thoreauvian wooden box that journeys across Britain - from the Tate, the SouthBank Centre, and other cultural landmarks to nondescript "back streets, high streets, hill tops, and front rooms" - bringing with it the most exclusive seat in town, wherever that may be.

The windowless space is large enough to accommodate just one performer (usually a folk artist) and one spectator (who is given just one song) and is lit by a sole light bulb screwed into the ceiling, a moody atmosphere and a strange dynamic which yield an experience that can prove as unnerving and awkward as it can be charming and endearing.

Since launching in 2009, the wandering pavilion has gone through several make-shift incarnations, including this mossy,’Woodstock’ rendition, which were always built using recycled/recovered materials. This year, however, the project will adopt a new, more sturdy performing space. Designed by architects David Knight and Cristina Monteiro, the latest box is comprised of 14 prefabricated panels, snapped together to form the structure’s base, walls, and ceiling. Each of the panels was individually carved and painted by “artisan carpenters”; when assembled, a vaguely Art Nouveau motif is made legible on all of the box’s sides. The audience enters and exits through a single dwarf-like door, while a double door on the opposite wall is reserved for the performer. The bespoke hut, which will also double as a whiskey bar, will premiere this month in London.

Folk in a Box: The Making of! from David Knight on Vimeo.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. New luxury condo towers rise on 'Billionaire's Row' in Manhattan.
    Life

    What Manhattan's Land Is Worth

    A new study traces the astonishing increase in the value of Manhattan’s land since 1950.

  2. Shared bikes await their riders in Dallas.
    POV

    What Cities Need to Understand About Bikeshare Now

    Public or private? Docked or dockless? E-bike or e-scooter? It’s complicated. But bikesharing is now big business, and cities need to understand how these emerging systems operate—and who operates them.

  3. Mayor Ryshonda Harper Beechem at her desk in Pelahatchie, Mississippi.
    Life

    The Strange Case of a Black Mayor's 75% Pay Cut in Mississippi

    In Pelahatchie, a small Mississippi city, the town’s first black mayor struggles to exert control.

  4. Transportation

    Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

    Nearly 80 years ago, a construction standstill derailed the subway’s progress, leading to its present crisis. This is the story, decade by decade.

  5. Transportation

    Taxing Uber and Lyft to Fund Transit Isn't Fair to Transit

    Roads improvements are part of the regular budgeting process. Why not transit?