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Off-grid retreat shelters artists for two months at a time

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May 29, 2014

SPUD design studio recently unveiled The Observatory

SPUD design studio recently unveiled The Observatory

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Following its previous Exbury Egg project, SPUD design studio recently unveiled a similar endeavor, named The Observatory. It consists of an off-grid retreat that will shelter multi-disciplinary artists for up to two months at a time, in addition to a secondary structure that shall allow members of the public to visit and get involved. SPUD has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for construction costs.

The Observatory's two structures are named The Workshop and The Study. The Workshop is a simple semi-exposed building that, once completed, will allow members of the public to watch the artist at work and take part in artistic workshops. The Study, meanwhile, will provide the resident artist with shelter as he or she works and lives off-grid for two months, before the next artist moves in.

The Study sports a BioLite wood burner that keeps the artist warm and charges small electronic devices. A roof-based solar panel provides electricity, and a rainwater catchment system collects water for washing equipment. There's also a more private area at the back with a fold-down bed, toilet facilities, heating, storage, and ventilation.

The Study will be required to shelter artists from the worst of Britain's miserable weathe...

Both The Study and The Workshop are mounted on rotating platforms that enable visitors and artists to make the most of the view. The platforms are hand-operated, with a steel base that turns upon a steel track. The Observatory will move location every six months and will visit Winchester Science Centre, the Lymington Salt Marshes, the South Dorset Ridgeway, and the River Tamar. There will also be close cooperation with local schools and universities at each spot.

Charlotte Alice Winifred Knight, who leads a design team of architectural assistants including Mina Gospavic, Ross Galtress, Lauren Shevills, and artist Edward Crumpton, told Gizmag that the first artist will move in on November 1st. Knight further explained that the project will use as many local and sustainably-sourced materials as possible, and that it is hoped that The Observatory will continue to be used even after two years have come to a close.

In all, the project is expected to cost £50,000 (US$90,000) for construction and installation. Those interested in pledging money toward the campaign are promised awards which include signed prints, a launch invitation, and a limited-edition book.

The video below makes the obligatory crowdfunding pitch.

Sources: The Observatory, Indiegogo

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.

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