Sliced White

Global Free Unit, ZVIZZHI VILLAGE, 2017


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12 Interior 

Thomas Randall-Page     Download Original

  • 12 Interior    
  • 1 Elevation    
  • 2 Approach    
  • 3 Interior    
  • 4 Interior    
  • 5 Canopy detail    
  • 6 Canopy detail    
  • 7 Canopy detail    
  • 8 Interior     
  • Canopy (underside)    
  • 10 Canopy detail    
  • 11 Canopy Detail    
  • 13 Canopy detail    
  • 14 Canopy (underside)    
  • 15 Canopy (edge)    
  • 16 View from the field    
  • 17 Interior    
  • Fine sliced log concept sketch    
  • Working sketches    
  • Working sketches 2    
  • Working sketches 3    
  • As built Axo 1    
  • As built Axo 2    
  • 3 Discussing scale    
  • 4  Students felling birch saplings    
  • 5 Extracting birch saplings    
  • 6 Birch brought to site    
  • 8 Prototyping the forest    
  • 9 Fabricating birch panels    
  • 10 installing birch panels    
  • 11 Removing the crusts    
  • 12 Slicing the log     
  • 14 Rebuilding the log    
  • 15 Hanger Components manufactured alongside drying onions     
  • 16 Columns being charred prior to milling    
  • 18 Overview with one day to go    
  • Exploded axo canopy column connection    

Sliced White is a new outdoor classroom in Nikola-Lenivets Art Park. It will host programmes in architecture, art, curation as well as forestry and sustainability.

In August 2017 Global Free Unit led a group of 13 international students created a new outdoor classroom shaded by a cloud of timber fins in Nikola-Lenivets Art Park, 200 km south west of Moscow.

Since it was founded by artist Nikolay Polissky over 17 years ago, Nikola-Lenivets has seen artists and architects work to regenerate a ruined rural economy through art and architecture. Building on this history, the theme of the summer school was Art as Labour.

All the materials used during the summer school were taken from the immediate surroundings of the park. The centrepiece – the sliced log – lay in a local village for several years and more than 100 birch saplings were felled by the students to thin the local forest.

Sliced White is comprised of two main elements: a permeable wall of birch saplings, which creates an outdoor room; and a timber-finned roof made from the deconstruction of a single huge log, which shades the space from the powerful summer sun.

A structure was then designed to delicately hang and display this exploded log. The columns are made of charred tree trunks sliced into three to support paired beams, making reference to the adjoining burnt-out building. The exterior of these blackened columns contrasts with their clean white interior.

Designed to imply a clearing in a young birch forest, with the whiteness of the bark reinforcing the contrast of old and new, and adding drama to the neighbouring burnt building. Depending on the angle of view, the natural contours of the undulating roof can seem heavy like a storm cloud or light like the gills of a mushroom.

The inaugural summer school was led by Professor Robert Mull, Xenia Adjoubei and Thomas Randall-Page. It is a collaboration between Nikola-Lenivets Art Park and the Global Free Unit,

This project was created with out the exchange of any money - all materials were donated. The cost was felt in labour alone; 810 hours. All materials were sourced locally at no cost. The cost per square meter equates to 33 hours per sq meter.


  • Begun: Aug 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 26m2
  • Sectors: Education, Arts and culture
  • Tender date: Aug 2017
  • Procurement: None, built by students, no money changed hands

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