Transient Sanctuaries

Natasha Reid Design, Varies, 2014

 

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Two experimental, mobile pavilions and an associated programme of installations that explore the notion of sanctuary in the public realm to provide temporary community resources in unexpected locations.

The structures were originally created as part of a self-initiated project by Natasha Reid entitled an “Embassy for Refugees” in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts to hold debates on spatial justice and humanitarian advocacy during Refugee Week 2013.

Constructed on a budget of only £2000, the pavilions were purposefully designed to have the potential to be reused and adapted beyond the initial week-long installation, so were realised as a mobile kit-of-parts.

The Transient Sanctuary legacy project was developed in collaboration with several organisations to curate a series of new interventions where the structures would be resourcefully transformed for community purposes.

They were adapted through light-touch approaches to form interactive sculptures in the Black Mountains in Wales, spaces for story-telling in the Olympic Park, and a glowing beacon for children’s rights in Russell Square.

The organic form of the pavilions is drawn from the idea of creating “secret dens” and unexpected hide-aways in the public realm. The design aimed to evoked the natural refuges of tree canopies, caves and cocoons, to create a sensory interpretation of the notion of “sanctuary”.

The pavilions were realised in close collaboration with engineers at Arup who used complex 3D modelling to realise a low-tech solution crafted from ordinary 18mm OSB panels and scaffold sheeting, which could be rapidly constructed and deconstructed by hand in a day. Whilst appearing highly bespoke and sculptural, the pavilions strike a balance between modular efficiency, economy of materials and conceptual intent.

Data

  • Begun: Jun 2013
  • Completed: Aug 2014
  • Floor area: 45m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Public realm
  • Total cost: £2,000
  • Address: Temporary mobile structure, Varies, Varies, United Kingdom

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