Helen & Hard Architects - Design London Monday, September 27, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    1:1 – Architects Build Small Spaces, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 15 June–30 August 2010

  • Literature

    Abraham Thomas, 1:1 – Architects Build Small Spaces, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2010, pp. 3, 26 and 27

  • Catalogue Essay

     Recalling the tradition of the British 18th-century garden folly,
    this climbing structure reawakens our memories of childhood
    play and exploration. ‘Ratatosk’ is an Old Norse word which means
    ‘drill-tooth’. It refers to an ancient squirrel from Norse mythology
    that lived in a giant ash tree standing at the centre of the cosmos.
    The architects have split five ash trees lengthways and planted them
    face to face, thus allowing visitors to step into the ‘interior space’ of
    the trees. Crowning the structure is a hand-woven willow canopy
    which hangs over a soft play-surface of wood shavings.
    The architects selected these trees from a forest in Norway and
    put them through a complex 3-D scanning and modelling process.
    Using these digital ‘maps’, they then carved precise sections from
    the trees using a CNC router – a milling machine commonly used
    in contemporary furniture manufacture.
    Highlighting the contrast between the organic textures of the raw
    bark and the smooth, burnished quality of the interior surfaces, this
    project celebrates the delicate balance that can exist between craft
    and digital fabrication.
    Abraham Thomas, Curator of Designs, Victoria and Albert Museum, London



Five split ash trees, hand-woven willow canopy, wood shavings, rubber.
480 × 630 × 248.5 cm (189 × 248 × 97 7/8 in)
Inside of trees carved with ‘Ratatosk is the squirrel named, who has run in Yggdrasil's ash; he from above the eagle's words must carry, and beneath the Nidhögg repeat’. For the 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces Exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

£10,000 - 15,000 


28 September 2010