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The Observatory, Lymington

A great example of art and architecture engaging the public

Credit: RIchard Battye

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios for SPUD (Spaces, Placemaking and Urban Design)

Contract value: £35,560

GIA: 14m2

In 2014, SPUD launched a design competition with the aim of creating a sculptural installation to serve as a shelter and a lookout for 12 artists in residence over two years. Designed by four architectural graduates and one artist, The Observatory is a pair of rotating cabins forming a studio. The project creates a single-point perspective which slices through the plan of each cabin to frame views of the landscape. With the help of a concealed mechanism, the gentle turn of a wheel rotates the oversized viewing frame to capture a cinematic view. 

  • Credit: Matt Dunkinson
  • Credit: Matt Dunkinson
  • Credit: FCBStudios
  • Credit: FCBStudios

It is a great example of architecture and art engaging the public, enhancing the landscape, and leading a number of local authorities to think positively about how design can connect different members of a community. Despite its tight funding and temporary nature, the project’s benefits will be felt by large of numbers people. 

See other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2016 – South


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