AA Hooke Park Cocoon Shelter was prefabricated, transported and successfully installed, hanging and weaving over three selected trees in Hooke Park, Dorset, UK.
Designed and Made in collaboration with: Abdullah Omar Asghar Khan (Pakistan) Karjvit Rirermvanich (Thailand)
Designed for the Architectural Association/ M.Arch Design & Make programme 2013 Martin Self, Programme Director Piers Taylor, Studio Master
The Cocoon is a design derived from the experience of walking through the forest of Hooke Park in Dorset. Its design explores the relationship between natural light, material and occupational space. The Cocoon represents a journey through the forest, inviting and challenging the visitor to anticipate, imagine, explore and discover the natural beauty of the forest from a completely different perspective. Even though it uses the trees as vertical support, the design is site specific as it weaves through 3 selected trees in the forest.
The structure emerged through a process of bandaging until it was stiff enough to hang it from the trees. This process provided a unique spatial transformation of the interior spaces through articulation and penetration of natural light, and a strong tectonic language, achieved by the imperfection but novel materials and form.
The selection of materials for the project was based on the teams design ambition to maximise the use of material from Hooke Park. Four sheets of plywood and one western red wood cedar tree was milled to create this unique ergonomically design shelter with interior spaces that provide areas for relaxation and enjoyment of the amazing framed views of the winter sunset. An important characteristic and advantage of the green and untreated timber is the high flexibility achieved after milling into thin strips, permitting the cladding strips to bend and take new form.
The interior spaces of The Cocoon enable the visitor to have a unique visual and tactile experience through its undulated canyon-like forms created with the cedar cladding, the fresh smell of the wood and the articulation of the light, bringing the visitor closer to the canopy of the trees and surrounding environment. Architecturally, the teams ambition was accomplished thanks to the unique material characteristics, the spatial transformation of the interior spaces through articulation and penetration of the natural light, and a strong tectonic language, achieved by the imperfection but novel materials and form.