The Roker Pods

The Roker Pods

The Roker Pods for Sunderland City Council / Art Gene.

Sunderland Seafront

July 2013

The Roker Pods were commissioned by the Council to turn the needs and views of the local residents into three unique community spaces. One pod is a café, one is an educational space and the third is a performance space. The structures are towable and road-legal, and incorporate renewable solar and wind elements.

millimetre came on board after being selected over stiff competition. We worked closely with Art Gene to take their artistic vision from concept through to reality.

The Pods are 3.5m in diameter, constructed with a GRP interior sphere. Each is supported by a 10mm stainless steel angle framework, over-clad by steam bent oak. They are then mounted on a three-wheeled chassis. Mounted on the chassis and with the renewables fitted the pods are 5.5m tall.

It was a technically-demanding project, requiring specialist skills and problem-solving. To achieve the resolution and double curvature, the segments were 3D modelled, a CNC template was created and each segment was copy-machined to incorporate curvature to their long sides, prior to steam bending.

Photography: © Maddi Nicholson / Glasshopper / Millimetre