In 2015, we joined forces with Architecture 00. Together, we enjoy collaborating in a shared environment where strategic, urban and social designers, architects, programmers and economists practice design beyond its traditional borders. 00 work with individuals, governments, corporations and communities to solve problems and anticipate change, and to design successful platforms and places. As a studio it aims to reach beyond the design of objects themselves to the social, economic and environmental systems behind them.

Fire Folly

Studio in the Woods is an ongoing education programme with the intention of promoting the exchange of architectural knowledge and skills through experimentation and direct experience. The programme is an annual three-day outdoor summer workshop led by a group of award winning architects and engineers aimed at architectural students, practicing architects and a wider audience with an interest in place, landscape and the direct experience of making and working with materials to hand.

This summer Studio Weave were invited to join the Studio in the Woods family as a group leader. This year the workshop took place at New Barn Farm, surrounded by a vast area of hills, woodlands and fields on the Isle of Wight.

In just three days our group designed and built this quirky Fire Folly. 

The structure was built to create a shelter and chimney over an existing fire pit and is made from freshly cut Corsican pine with chalk-and-water white wash to the front facade.

The 7m tall structure was constructed without any lifting gear so had to be built on the ground as a pinwheel and lifted to its full height by pushing the three primary timbers towards the centre, creating a structure that can be seen across the landscape.

Once the structure was complete we all snuggled around the fire and toasted marshmallows.

The firey glow made for some interesting photos.

We wanted to build something tall that would act as a chimney over the fire pit but had no lifting gear so the first order of business was to come up with the tallest structure that we could build from the ground.

It was also suggested that the structure be climbable so that we could clad it more easily.

After several ideas were discussed, we decided on a pinwheel structure that could be built flat and then raised up from the ground. This had the advantage that it could be fixed at ground level so once it was in place we wouldn’t need to climb up a precarious structure to secure it.

The engineer did some sums (prescribing a very official sounding ‘shitload’ of nails)…

…and once they confirmed our intentions were sound, we went off to find some wood.

We were appointed a site on the top of the hill which had a great view across the landscape. We figured out the orientation of the structure through the medium of dance!

Tim towed the timber up the hill and we unloaded it…

…then the pinwheel was built and secured at ground level.

Then with all our combined manpower, we heaved…

…and heaved…

…until the tripod structure was nice and tall. We then dug little holes and secured the bases of each column in the ground.

Once this giant tripod was in place, we set about cladding it.

As the structure was to have a fire inside, we carved some Salamanders into the inside of some of the cladding so that as the fire flickered inside, the Salamanders would wriggle.

Ted Cullinan came by to see what we were up to and even carved us a salamander!

The cladding was put in strategically to allow climbing and secure the structure.

The ‘formal façade’ as it came to be known, was coated in a mix of chalk dust and water to give it a bright white sheen.