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River Beaulieu Hampshire, UK – Stephen Turner, Perring Architecture & Design and SPUD Design Studio
Built area: 6 x 2.8 m2 (20 x 10 ft)
Project Year: 2013
Photography: Nigel Rigden
Artist, Stephen Turner, didn’t just want to paint wildlife as an observer, he wanted to be a participant. To achieve that objective, he decided to immerse himself in the daily life of the river.
Turner is living aboard the ‘Exbury Egg’, experiencing the cycles and processes that keep the estuary healthy for a full year. Just large enough to house the necessary functions, including storage, display areas, desk, galley, bathroom and hammock, the egg is moored to shore, rising and falling with the tides.
Built from reclaimed cedar and other local, often scavenged materials, the exterior is laminated but otherwise untreated, allowing it to weather to a natural patina over time from exposure to sun and water. The home is solar powered and designed to be totally self-sufficient.
‘Climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats. Established salt marsh is being eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux. The implications for wildlife and for the flora as well as for people are challenging. Raising awareness of the past and the unfolding present of a very special location will be the task, whist living in an ethical relationship with nature and treading as lightly as possible upon the land.’
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