Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Studio in the Woods 2009

It's a shame it flies by so quickly...Each year, during three intensive days in the woods, architecture students explore space through formulating a site specific response and very importantly the process of making of their proposition.
After having observed the amount of wasteage during the wood cutting process in the previous year, we set the group the task to work with waste only. We soon settled for a site in the grid of a 25yr old managed forest - drawn by the lack of romanticism and human scale. The trees are originally planted at a 2m grid. During its life all low level branches are continuously removed to encourage straight growth and obtain better timber after felling. This results in a high canopy sheltering a very bare ground. After a morning investigating the grid and its strong sight lines we settled on a design. During the mapping process we realised that the forest appeared much more gridded than it actually was. We decided to draw emphasis to the incompleteness of the perceived grid (the trees which had been felled during the forest management process). A canopy was set out along the existing sight lines. It drew support from the trees, but sagged where trees were missing, disturbing its regularity and giving it its organic shape. Branches of already felled trees were used to weave the structure entirely without any mechanical fixings. The woven canopy was finally raised towards the natural canopy far up - and set disturbingly just below headheight of the visitor.
When light fell through the canopies late in the afternoon a play of light and shadow dissolved the weave and the space beneath.

Studio in the Woods is organised by MitchellTaylorWorkshop. The groups were tutored by Piers Taylor & Mole Architects, Gianni Botsford Architects & Kate Darby Architects, Toby Lewis, and erect architecture.

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