Two new first-term Core Studio projects have been completed at Hooke Park. One is an inhabitable tetrahedron that is suspended above an ancient mound in the woodland, the other – nicknamed ‘Big Fish’ – is a viewing shelter and extended bench that emerged in response to the local topography. Working on the two projects in parallel the five students followed a brief to amplify existing features of the landscape and to test extremes of the reciprocation between designing and making.
The Tetrahedron geometry was chosen to act in contrast to the form of the mound (which local archaeologists speculate may contain an ancient burial chamber) and, as the simplest Platonic solid, to provide a minimal inhabitable enclosure within its translucent membrane. The frame is of Douglas Fir timber sourced from the surrounding woodland, and although appearing as heavy solid beams is actually hollow and contains tensioning cables and the fixings for the membranes.
Students: Zachary Mollica, Yang Yung-Chen
In contrast to the predetermined and prefabricated nature of the Tetrahedron, the form of the Big Fish only emerged on site during its construction. A series of bendable kerfed timber ribs allowed an armature to the sculpted on site and locked into position, after which around 400 strips of larch and ash were laid up. The final form emerged over five days in an ad-hoc process so as to maximise the inhabitants’ experience of the terrain, trees, sunsets and views.
Students: Mohaimeen Islam, Swetha Raju, Sahil Shah
Studio Tutors: Toby Burgess, Martin Self
Make Tutor: Charley Brentnall
Workshop, forestry & site supervision: Charlie Corry Wright, Edward Coe, Chris Sadd, Jack Hawker.