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the londonderry

drive-in cinema + motel


masters of architecture graduation project

design studio


tutor: olivia hyde

There were 17.2 million motor vehicles registered in Australia in 2013 (75% of the Australian population). This figure was an increase of 12.3% since 2008 and indicates today’s society’s dependence on motor vehicles. The Londonderryis an architectural proposal that juxtaposes a working car junk yard (The Northern Auto Wreckers) with a drive-in cinema and motel through the addition of a new landscape. This contrast of programs is not only a critical commentary on society’s use of cars, but is also a celebration of the life cycle of a car from beginning to end, showcasing the potential life and afterlife of an auto mobile.


As one enters the site, they are first taken off the main road and into the car junk yard where they journey around the dismantled and destroyed cars. The circulation for this project is experienced on a single-laned road. Upon buying your tickets, you are led onto a ramp (which sits above the existing graffiti wall) and onto the new landscape/surface that is the drive-in cinema. This surface has penetrations that reference the layout of the existing car junk yard below and thus forms a strong connection between the old and the new. The cinema-goers are able to purchase food and drinks at the food trucks situated at the rear, next to the periscope projection tower.


After watching the movie, a typical night at The Londonderry would consist of driving your car into a 'garage' motel room and staying the night. This linear motel sits on the perimeter of the site, giving each room a view of the forest that surrounds. The rooms are modular and consist of garage-style ceiling-hung storage racks for beds. One might also want to climb the staircase behind the screen onto the viewing platform to experience the expansive forest views of Londonderry. When it is time to exit, one is taken on another journey below the surface circulating around the wrecked cars again.


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Click here to see the reseach process


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