Hairywood: An installation by 6a Architects and Eley Kishimoto14 Jul - 15 Oct 2005
The Architecture Foundation launched its east end gallery 'The Yard' with the Hairywood installation, an urban summer house created by 6a Architects and Eley Kishimoto as a public space to challenge perceptions of what architecture can be.
Marking the start of the Architecture Foundation's yearlong programme at The Yard, Hairywood was a 6.3 metre high beacon of public space set upon a raised canopied deck, open directly onto the street. The tower, locating the gallery within the area, created a threshold to the courtyard space beyond, where the public could meet, have lunch and play, whilst itself offering an intimate escape for two.
Merging pattern and architecture, 6a Architects and Eley Kishimoto's collaboration explored the impact each has on the other to invite questions about architecture, the city, and our relationship with them. The interaction of structure and repetitive shape played with ideas of defining space and creating place. The plywood tower, laser cut with Eley Kishimoto's pattern of Rapunzel's hair and sitting within a space overlaid with landscape print, playfully challenged the possibilities of public space from a new perspective.
A small space at the very top of the tower, lined with printed timber and upholstery, created a private world opening itself onto the street and its views. Dappled light affected the interior space during the day, while at night the tower was lit from within, glowing like a giant lantern. Protected behind the tower, the printed deck provided a larger public space connected to the adjacent gallery, with fabric-covered benches. The physical qualities of the architecture were transformed by using pattern to vary the light, colour and texture, meeting pragmatic demands of shading on a south facing courtyard, as well as more romantic notions of privacy and enclosure.
Inspired by the 1958 film Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot by Jacques Tati, 6a Architects and Eley Kishimoto combined architecture and pattern to temporarily transform this small urban site into a directly accessible public space and experience. Tati's beautiful heroine began every day by opening her hotel bedroom window and gazing out over the beach and sea. This juxtaposition of interior intimacy and public space was created in reality from a single immaculate bay window held high above the beach on a structural wooden tower. Hairywood reinterpreted Tati's romantic image on Old Street; a small domestic beacon offering a new human interaction with the relentless traffic and urban environment.
Hairywood was reconstructed in Covent Garden in 2008. Read more.
"Enchanting" The Independent on Sunday
"A suitably surreal moment of architectural delight" **** The Financial Times
The Yard, Old Street, London EC1