Like any egg-shaped structure, be it a chapel or a $964 house pod, this micro-office, bobbing in an estuary of the UK's Beaulieu River, looks as though it was dropped randomly from a high-flying stork with little regard to context or setting. In fact, though, the Exbury Egg, a collaborative effort among the UK-based firms PAD Studio and the SPUD Group and the UK-based artist/explorer Stephen Turner, is—take it away, official project description!—a "trans-disciplinary project drawing on art and architecture as well as technology and the sciences to transcend individual specialism and work toward a further engagement of [...] visual art practice with contemporary ecological thinking."
According to Design Boom, the structure "will be 'tethered' like a boat and will rise and fall with the tide," garnering "the patina of 730 daily tides below the water line, and 365 days of weathering by wind, rain and bleaching by the sun above."
Inside, a bed, desk, stove, and wet room (fully tiled shower area/bathroom) will function as "a laboratory for studying the life of a tidal creek, a collecting and collating centre [sic] with integral storage & display areas" for Turner, who will live on board for 12—yes, twelve months—to "creatively map the inter-connection of life from the smallest invertebrates to the largest mammals and between fauna and changing flora during the course of four complete seasons," as he explains in a rather bonkers, truly phenomenal manifesto. He calls the endeavor "a necessary intervention in the landscape at a key moment when climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats," and plans "to track, trace and record all the goings-on within an agreed grid on the inter-tidal area of 'my parish', using GPS to accurately transpose stories, events and material finds to a scale chart of the river; making maps that go beyond the physical to chart a more emotional geography." The conclusion:
"?The Egg will be my own home beside the burrows of rabbits, the webs of spiders, the nests of birds and the aqueous habitat of fish and molluscs and I will reflect upon how such space is shared and indeed who or what should own it. In an age of hubris and self promotion, I want to provide a voice for mute nature, to be amanuensis to the tides, the terns and the turnstones." Godspeed, good sir, godspeed.
· exbury egg by PAD studio, SPUD group & stephen turner [Design Boom]
· Stephen Turner and the Exbury Egg [official site]