In Praise Of Nests & Other Things

 

The project is located on the outskirts of Blyth, the most populous town in Northumberland. The port remains active, but Blyth's legacy of heavy industry has slowly been replaced with offshore and clean energy technologies. The project seeks to capitalise on the extraordinary, sweeping beaches of the north east coast. A distinct change in visitors and uses occurs between winter and summer. This is highlighted by the project, which switches functions (for its human inhabitants) between bird-watching in winter and spring and water sports in summer and autumn. The scheme provides for both human and avian occupants to take temporary 'roost', each during their season.

The scheme has two sites: the visitor centre on the banks above the promenade and the hostel towers on the beach and in the water. The two buildings are linked by raised reciprocal views from viewing platforms that wrap around the structures.

The original concept designs were made from off cuts of other architectural models, mimicking the nature of birds' nests which depend on found materials in their construction. These were photographed, superimposed and recombined to begin to define an architectural language.