'A primitive shelter for the enjoyment of fire.'

The hearth is a shelter for one of the oldest human cultural pastimes: gathering round an open fire. A timber canopy supported on a forest of slender columns covers a circular, sunken stepped seating area. In its hollow is a hearth that can be enjoyed in the round. Above the hearth rises a mild steel cowl that acts as a windshield and secondary shelter for the fire below.

The structure’s platform draws upon geometric and organic forms. The forest of columns are set at unequal intervals from the centre and the canopy roof is a subtly squashed circle. At night, sparks will swirl up through the central hole while the shadows of the columns shift with the fire’s movements.

The roof is planted with vegetation displaced by the structure’s construction. The sunken, stepped seating is made from gabions which contain material from across the site and hold the earth in place. This salvage-led approach reduces the use of carbon intensive concrete to the bare minimum.

New build / Well-being
Collaborators: Structure Workshop, Max Fordham LLP, Sustainably Built, Barnes Walker, M&P Gadsden