31.3.2015

The Observatories

Sculptural installation to provide an intervention, a space to work, a shelter, a look-out and look-in for artists and audience interaction.

Construction and Materials
The two structures, cladding and rotating bases were pre-fabricated off site and built within an 11 week construction programme. Both The Study and The Workshop were designed to sit on a 2 x 10 m flat bed truck which transports them from each location every 6 months. The bespoke, rotating stainless steel bases are integrated into the structural timber frame of both cabins, which are powered manually by a wheel.

The design team used UK grown and imported Siberian Larch, as supplied by project sponsor James Latham Timber, to form the charred and exceptionally textured external timber cladding. The cladding was burnt using the Shou Sugi Ban, a traditional Japanese method of burning timber. This involves assembling a chimney stack of several braced timber planks which burn from the bottom upwards, and char the timber adequately within several minutes. This is a sustainable and economic method of preserving wood which is also being researched by the team for its potential in future architectural applications. The condition of the charred timber will be recorded and monitored carefully by the design team over the course of 2 years, to inform their thesis in timber charring, as sponsored by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Both structures are also made of highly durable materials and are serviced sustainably. Internally, both spaces are clad in Accoya, an acetylated wood which is highly durable and weatherproof. The Study is powered by a solar panel on the roof and heated by a wood burning flue, whilst The Workshop collects and filters rainwater to supply the artist with fresh water for washing paints and fabrics.

Two volumetric beacons are to sit lightly within the landscape to house multidisciplinary artists in residence for up to two months at a time. Primarily referential to coastal defence structures and ‘look out’ points that are prolific along the British coastline, the two forms act together as a focus for artists and audiences to experience  and encounter one another, one offering a place to work and the other as a place to linger.

Reflecting on Antonello da Messina’s painting of St. Jerome in his Study, the viewer is invited into the framed space of the artist, where the landscape is framed beyond. We have explored this concept of framing through two rotating structures that create a variety of views between them, creating a visual porosity, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior. This fragments the traditional notions of public and private thus allowing for greater audience interaction with the artist.

The changing orientation created by the shifting framing devices of the two structures allows multiple parts of the landscape to be viewed which will create a set of different and ‘nuanced’ landmarks in the landscape on each visit and in each location. Like a telescope, the artist and audience can rotate to face new points of interest. This also redefines the nature of the artists’ residency as something that the audience can see and understand through the changing relationship of the architectural proposal to the landscape. It also questions the role of the observer and the observed as the structures rotate, reversing the relationship between artist and audience. The structures offer a place of refuge and retreat for the artist and audience – a light touch inhabitation in nature. The Study is a weather-tight environment for the artist and his work, acting as a retreat and a place of privacy.

Brief
To create a sculptural and architectural structure to house multidisciplinary artists over a two year residency which the public can directly engage with. To offer the opportunity for artists and audiences to engage in new places outside conventional galleries in unique landscapes – ‘a look in, a look out.’

A Focus for artists/audiences to experience the landscape
A Space for artists/audience to encounter each other
A Place for artists to work and for audiences to see that work
A point of internist and a reason for visitors to linger when the artist is not present.

Form, Why two instead of one
The brief set out a tripartite narrative between the resident artist, general public and wider landscape.   We turned to the geometric works of Sol Le Wit and Antonello da Messina’s painting of the scholar, St Jerome in His Study. Reflecting on Antonello da Messina’s painting of St. Jerome in his Study, the viewer is invited into the framed space of the artist, where the landscape is framed beyond. We have explored this concept of framing through two rotating structures that create a variety of views between them, creating a visual porosity, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior. This fragments the traditional notions of public and private thus allowing for greater audience interaction with the artist.

The aim was therefore to design two volumetric beacons, (for the artist and the audience), with changing views of looking in and out of one another that could sit lightly within the landscape to house multidisciplinary artists in residence for up to two months at a time. They are primarily referential to coastal defence structures and ‘look out’ points that are prolific along the British coastline, the two forms act together as a focus for artists and audiences to experience  and encounter one another, one offering a place to work and the other as a place to linger.

The design encompasses two rotating structures. The first structure, The Study is a private, weather tight artist’s studio, whilst the second, The Workshop, is a space for the artist to encounter the public and present their work to the audience, as well as being a place for the public to enjoy. The two work together to encourage the artist and audience to interact.

The Observatory will be a place to study and reflect as the artist, and a shelter and looking platform for the audience.

How the structures are rotated
The structures rotate on a geared mechanism manually operated from within the structures by a crank handle. The cabins are fixed to two steel bases which rotate on steel caster wheels. These wheels sit on another steel based which is fixed to the ground. A 360 degree turn takes one person around 6 minutes to complete.

Although temporary structures, we did not believe that it was sustainable and efficient to create a design that would require site specific assembly each time it relocated. We therefore designed two prefabrications structure, with a light touch inhabitation on the ground. This connection to the ground is exceptionally important when considering the site locations of the South Downs National Park and the New Forest. We therefore designed the cabins to fit on a single flatbed lorry requiring easy transportation. The cabins are then lowered onto a trailer at the end of the nearest road to site and towed the remaining way by a tractor. The engineers of the rotating base, Unit Spark, designed this bespoke trailer for the cabins which allowed the structures to be jacked up, pulling the trailer away, and then lowered into place.

Materials
The materials selected were influenced by our team member, North Devon based artist Edward Crumpton, from a very early stage in the design process. His charcoal drawings were the inspiration behind the charred timber. We wanted to incorporate Ed’s own work of mariner’s tarred marlin rope sculptures, (an organic rope that weathers beautifully), into the final proposal not only due to its reference of coastal locations, but to continue our collaboration with our artist on the project. The final outcome is a marlin rope screen and wrapping on the fixtures and fittings.

The structures are made from sustainably sourced timber. Timber structure, timber cladding and timber furniture which was all sponsored by James Latham’s. Ed’s rope screen is an organic rope which decays with time. We have provided rainwater harvesting facility for the artists to use a sink as well as providing a solar panel to provide enough electricity to power a light bulb and laptop. We have also used reclaimed materials, including a ceramic sink and a desk stool for the artist in residence.

Environmentally, the structures are able to manually rotate towards the sun to gain heat and also away from the sun to provide shade out in the landscape. They also offer protection from the wind and the rain. They act as a shelter for all passing or visiting.

Para poder subir obras es necesario acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Para poder solicitar la creación de un grupo es necesario acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Para poder guardar en favoritos es necesario acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Para poder valorar obras es necesario acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Para poder agregar a este usuario a tu red de contactos es necesario que acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Para poder enviarle un mensaje a este usuario es necesario que acceder con una cuenta ARQA

Skip to toolbar