Steve Messam

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En Paviljong som Lyssnar på Skogen


Date: 2013

Client: Yellowbox

Location: Sättra, Öland, Sweden.

Dimensions: 3m x 4m x 3m

Materials: PU coated nylon, steel

              from below  

En Paviljong som Lyssnar på Skogen (A Pavilion for Listening to the Forest) is a site-specific structure suspended from the trees in the Mittlandsskogen, Öland, Sweden. 

The Mittlandsskogen - or central forest - is a vast area of mostly native woodland on the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. From a very early agricultural civilisation, the rich fertile soil of the central forest made the island one of the most northern edges of viable farmland in Europe. In an early experiment to create sustainable communities, the land was divided into plots for the production of food and fuel for every family on the island. However, the plan was flawed for many reasons, and coupled with a succession of failed harvest years the island saw mass emigration to America and the plots were abandonned. Left unattended the land quickly reverted to natural forest.

Mittlandsskogen Project initiated by Yellowbox is exploring the legacy of the forest and the delicate balancing act between it and the communities who live in and around its edges.

The Pavilion - although capable of seating two people - is a stimulus to listen to the forest - not just the audible sounds but recognising how the forest wants to behave and grow. The pavilion is drawn from the tradition of small buildngs in Chinese Gardens - each named as an action to take within them.  Chinese gardens are a reflection of man's place within a wider nature drawn from a 2,000 year culture of appreciation of the landscape.

The tensile fabric structure is connected directly into the trees and ground - the forest acting as the solid structure from which the pavilion is hung. The red lines physically connect the forest together at a common meeting point from which the structure emerges. A light steel frame encloses the central part defining the human space within the unmanaged forest.

more of the background story can be found on my blog..