Project description

Beginning as an extension of appreciation towards Edinburgh's theatre scene and a reaction to the empty car parks during the national lockdown this project follows the design of a theatre space in a multi storey car park and the set design of the space's first show.

A single point perspective looking at the foyer of the theatre space. Neon signage is seen from the low hanging beams and a ticket booth is featured in the centre.
The view upon entrance into The Storeys' foyer. Low ceiling beams are used to display titles and messages.

Set within the top levels of the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre's carpark The Storeys is a flexible theatre space that provides a permanent home for experimental and site specific theatre. The space is complete with various auditoriums each with different possible configurations for seating or promenade style shows; a large foyer and bar space with a rooftop terrace overlooking the surrounding seascape and extensive backstage space. 

'Keepers : The Mystery of Flannan Isles' is the first show to take place inside, taking on a promenade and immersive theatre style. Inspired by the surrounding area and stunning sea views the show is based on the true story of the disappearance of three Scottish lighthouse keepers from the Flannan Isles lighthouse in 1900. With some twists influenced by Scottish sea mythology added in the show provides a unique uncovering of the mystery. 


An exploded axonometric drawing of the site and location of different set rooms (circular thumbnails) within the scheme.
A key of the various set rooms and their location within the scheme.
A visual looking at the exterior of the multi storey carpark from the top looking down. Included is signage spelling out 'THE STOREYS'
An exterior view of The Storeys theatre space located on the top levels of the multi storey car park.
A collage of the desired lens effect.
A labyrinth structure is seen from a birds eye view. The centre features a large light source beaming out, people walk within the labyrinth.
The labyrinth like structure adopted for the lighthouse layout complete with the lens in the centre.
A figure crouches down in a small room dripping in a silver liquid.
The mercury installation room that forms part of the set.
A bright light reflects off of triangular mirrored curved walls. People gaze into the light located on the right hand side.
The hypnotic lens room that forms part of the theatre set.
Abstract cloths feature on the left hand side with storm images projected onto them. A figure on the right hand side walks through them.
The storm scene is created using fabric inspired by ships' sails and projections.
A collage of the cloakroom and concept.
Floor plan of the 5th floor, the design spans 3 floors in total. 1:200 at A1.
Various section of the space, 1:200 at A1.
Design book following the journey of the project.

The above plans and sections show the general arrangement of the space with the set input. The plan shows the 5th floor which features the majority of the set, foyer and bar. See Section DD for how the set extends two floors. Full plans and sections are available in the design book and portfolio. 

The set was furnished with various rooms and areas; some crucial to the plot; some inspired by the time era; some a nod to the site's history and some developed like art installations. 

A wave detail shown
The wave that leads audiences to the underwater area.

The illusion of going underwater is achieved using the site's unusual floor levels and various ramps previously used by cars. A wave feature overhangs like a curtain over the top of the ramp, acting as a threshold to the underwater area. This is passed through by the audience who then descend down the ramp to the underwater area. Constructed using mono filament nylon fishing nets the wave has a mesh, white water quality to it. The material then extends and thins onto the ceiling like a canopy of sorts into the underwater area resembling ripples on the water's surface when observed from below. Optic fibres and motors were incorporated into the design here to allow the net to feel fluid and in motion. The net moves up and down from the ceiling in a choreographed manner like waves, encouraging the audience to interact with the set and be engulfed by it. 

The net material thinned resembling the water's surface.
A section through a building is shown. The floor slopes down from the left, with a wave feature drawn on the ceiling.
A section showing the wave and ceiling canopy that extends to the underwater area.
A concept sketch of the wave feature utilising the site's ramps.
An early sketch of the wave feature.
An animation of the fishing net canopy's movements to resemble waves.
Skills & Experience
  • AutoCAD
  • VRay
  • Adobe Suite
  • Microsoft
  • SketchUp

Nicky McCreath

The Storeys present 'Keepers - The Mystery of Flannan Isles'