A straw pavilion designed to offer a serene space for reflection and relaxation in a natural landscape.

Part of the New Geographies program that aims to bring art to natural landscapes in eastern England, Mother… is a site-specific installation commissioned by the Wysing Arts Center. Studio Morison founders Heather Peak and Ivan Morison designed the sculptural structure for the Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, one of 270 sites nominated by the public. The pavilion references vernacular architecture and local traditions to both anchor the design into its cultural setting and to make it a natural part of the landscape. Richard Mabey’s book ‘Nature Cure’ also provided a source of inspiration for the concept.

Designed as a sanctuary, the quiet interior allows visitors to contemplate nature and enjoy a moment of solitude. As Ivan Morison explains, the sculpture offers “an opportunity to perhaps still the mind for a while by focusing on the simple material qualities of the work, and the changing nature of the landscape that surrounds it.”

The artists not only used locally sourced materials but also felled and milled the wood for the frame. Made from straw, the walls and roof have a silhouette that reinterprets the hayricks found in the area’s countryside setting. As a result, the thatched structure’s familiar form still looks new and modern. Narrow openings provide access to the interior. Inside, the visitors can admire the pavilion’s structure and materials as well as the conical ceiling with a skylight. Photographs©: Charles Emerson.

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