Ordnance Pavilion

Studio MUTT, Ambleside , 2019


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Ordnance Pavilion is a temporary installation and micro gallery celebrating the Lake District's status as a UNESCO Cultural Landscape.

The project focuses on man's physical and cultural relationships with landscape, presenting the Ordnance Survey map as a conduit for this.

The iconic OS map has an extraordinary history. Beginning with military roots where, in the wake of the Jacobite Revolution in 1745, maps were commissioned to help track down dissenters north of the wall. Later, between 1935 and 1962, the Ordnance Survey undertook the retriangulation of Great Britain: the remapping, by hand, and mostly by men in tweed suits, of the entire landscape of the nation. This is a strikingly absurd concept in our GPS-enabled, satellite-mapped world of today.

The installation synthesises elements from this narrative of retriangulation through a collage of scenes and characters that form a peculiar pavilion, dedicated to the Ordnance Survey. Each element references a specific element in the story of the OS map, whether this be a 3D expression of the maps’ iconic graphics, or the apparatus used by the intrepid surveyors to create it.

The seemingly utilitarian cartography of the maps has become a graphic icon in its own right and here elements from the map are scaled up as monumental forms, while the colours are projected from the map into an architectural scale.

The pavilion is an intriguing and characterful structure, sitting boldly in its context, and reminiscent of an isolated chapel, stranded in the vast context of the Lake District. It is imagined as a part of a network of similar lone structures dotted through the landscape. Studio MUTT designed, built and installed the project.


  • Begun: Jan 2018
  • Completed: Jan 2019
  • Floor area: 1m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £12,000
  • Funding: Arts Council England
  • Tender date: Nov 2017
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Langdale Estate, Ambleside , LA22 9JD, United Kingdom

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