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Exhibited at the RIBA Open Exhibition: 2012

The split studio is located in Kielder forest adjacent to the Kielder observatory by the north of the lake. The design exploits the unstable ground condition which occurs at the edge of forested areas. Mature Sitka Spruce trees become uprooted during periods of heavy rainfall and highwinds and often collapse at the edges of planted areas. The ground within an approximate 4 metre range of the uprooted tree becomes disturbed and large voids are created where the trees’ root balls have been displaced. These semi-sub-terranean areas are the sites for the split studio: a photography and film studio which also acts as an earth retention structure at the forest edge. The primary structure consists of a series of folded sheet steel panels in specific configurations designed to resist forces exerted by landslide events in neighboring areas. The sheet panels also define the volumes in which the studio spaces are suspended. Intermediate circulation spaces are contained within a strong geotextile which is wraps the earth between the main voids. Light entering and leaving the studio spaces is tightly controlled through apertures in the south facades of the suspended studio volumes to meet the specific requirements of artist working within the studios and in a way which minimizes light pollution to the nearby observatory

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