lithuania is a place where one can drink tap water, enjoy showers without the necessity to save the water or go camping into the nature next to a majority of rivers or lakes. the water is not in a shortage, thus potentially underappreciated. this means that, at an urban scale, the waterfronts are not accessible and integrated enough and, at a rural scale, the waterfronts are getting more restricted by private stakeholders and their summerhouses. to face this issue, the problem started to be considered in several art events and some individual projects during the last decade or so.


1:1 started spatial and practical experiments on a micro island

 

 

some architecture and urban enthusiasts from lithuanian based group 1:1 — vienas prie vieno — started spatial and practical experiments on a micro island in indrajai lake, utena county, which was isolated for years. the island was originally used for animal farming as a part of the historical mansion in the waterfront of the lake. the group of artists and designers established a crowdfunding group to symbolically save the island for practical artistic experiments. investigating ways to accommodate people in this less than 2000 m2 piece of land, the team initiated an open call competition to design a safe shelter for two.


the team initiated an open call competition to design a safe shelter for two

 

 

the competition was won by the project called open cocoon – a harmless way of staying in the tree similar to the way chrysalis, a stage of a butterfly development, attaches itself with a silky belt-like structure fastened to the tree. the winning team proposal suggested the idea, that a typology of a cocoon can simply become a role model for inhabiting the nature in the future. for that reason, the framework for the design was to come up with the solution that is flexible to connect and form new tree-structures for a smaller community.


a typology of a cocoon can simply become a role model for inhabiting the nature in the future

 

 

the object would be to have an open terrace which can be closed by a semitransparent cover. this movable element transports the idea of either direct or indirect communication between the inhabitants. once the cover is closed, it creates an abstract triangular space to inhabit. the abstract geometric shape is the most stable form, but also a contradiction to the nature. the wooden structure is fixed by two steel rings on a tree trunk and also had a roof cover lifted by a pulley. a pulley mechanism was successfully used while lifting the heavy structures in the tree during the construction process thus it the construction process started from fixing it to the top of the tree.


the object would be to have an open terrace which can be closed by a semitransparent cover

 

 

during the workshop people were divided into smaller groups to make the work more efficient. the leading team who won the competition was planning the construction in the building site, others were cleaning the island, preparing food, designing additional elements for the object or organizing future works in the island.


the wooden structure is fixed by two steel rings on a tree trunk

 

 

in the end, the isolated island became a place to be, because it was introduced with a cultural experience. every evening, several island people used to give lectures followed by discussions. the place was visited by people from the city to see the exhibition prepared by known photographer. the work vibes and enthusiasm were so strong that most of the guest of the island ended up building the cocoon together. after more than a week the mission was accomplished: the wooden structure was lifted and attached to the metal rings situated on the tree trunk.


once the cover is closed, it creates an abstract triangular space to inhabit


a harmless way of staying in the tree


the leading team was planning the construction in the building site, others were cleaning the island


the wooden structure is lifted and attached to the metal rings situated on the tree trunk


the enthusiasm were so strong that most of the guest of the island ended up building the cocoon together


project diagram

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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