The Beacon

The brief for the design of a temporary structure for The Shetland Islands was captivating and challenging. How does personal contemplation and solitude physically manifest itself?

The structure is designed to be fully demountable and relocatable, with section sizes that can be easily carried between locations.

The 3m x 3m x 3m overall parameters for the structure generated a design that is carved, folded, turned and shaped into a delicate form silhouetted against the sky, reminiscent of the coastline and the jagged rock forms and outcrops it draws inspiration from. 

Constructed from reclaimed hardwood timber and assembled in sections using hand tools and traditional carpentry techniques, the structure is a series of folded planes that can be adjusted to suit all terrains and gradients, clad in timber slats with glazed panels and solar panels. A louvered canopy sits over the structure, echoing a bird waiting to take flight.

The design draws on the fundaments of solitude and shelter, manifesting itself as a structure that is temporary in nature but permanent in memory. It exists as a shelter, a place of rest and quiet contemplation, offering respite from the elements. 

The structure maintains panoramic view when sat within, provide a safe, sheltered space where visitors can spend restorative time at peace whilst enjoying the wonders of the natural world, enabling visitors to experience and appreciate the natural world, it’s scenery, flora and fauna in a new and interesting way. 

The structure reflects nature’s benefit on mental health as well as its’ surroundings, weathering and ageing over time, becoming a receptor of memories. Each person will interact with this place in a way known only to them, witnessed only by the elements and nature’s inhabitants. 

Each person will take a different personal experience from this place.

Client – Merrell Outdoor Clothing and Footwear
Type – Community
Location – Foula, Shetland Islands
Status – Open Competition