The project brief that inspired this work of architecture was for an artist’s field-station in Glen Nevis, Scotland, that would allow and encourage creative interaction between artists and the land and its history. The chosen site was anywhere in Glen Nevis and Malcom Frasier Architects chose a section of land in the dense woods that overlooks the natural expanse of Glen offering a view of the landscape with the interspersion of human interaction by means of roads winding up the hills and car parks and visitor’s centers. More on this project in Outlandia after the break.
The site for this project has a profound affect on architecture and the program. From its peak, visitors can see the tourist trade along with old mills, burial ground, an industrial aluminum smelter and the hydro that powers it. The view offers a vast range of uses of the land and the tensions that arise from nature, industry, tourism and heritage, perfect for inspiration.
The building is approached by a dirt path that leads to a small clearing from the dense woods that lead up to it. It sits on a 45 degree slope that is accessed by a footbridge. The building is essentially a treehouse, part of which is built out of the trees that were once on the site. Part of the process of building was low-impact through an eco-friendly use of material recovered from the site; part was the opposite, high-impact, with distinctly-hairy landings of concrete for the foundations from a helicopter. Construction was part-joinery, part-forestry and part-mountain rescue, with a local contractor that successfully combined all three.
The initial program is for one year, with artists using the treehouse as a base for creative interaction. The field station was completed in July 2010 and the total construction cost amounted to £17k. London Fieldworks commissioned the project and are curating the work in and around it.