Today we want to show you a very special project. Something unique not only in its looks and size, but also in its functions and purpose. The Exbury Egg is a temporary home for environmental activist and artist Stephen Turner, which was designed to be his home for 12 months whilst studying the environmental impacts on the estuaries of the River Beaulieu in Exbury, Hampshire. It is an attempt to raise awareness about the impacts climate change are having on these delicate eco systems, including the impact these changes are having on flora and fauna alike. The Exbury Egg will rise and fall with 730 tides over the course of the year, and will serve as a place to live, work, collect and collate data, and to showcase a more stripped-back lifestyle, that is better connected with the natural environment.
Designed by PAD Studio, a local architectural firm who were awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) “Emerging Architect of the Year 2014” Award, and built in collaboration with the SPUD Group, as well as Stephen himself, this is a multi-purpose home unlike anything you have seen before. The enthusiasm of all involved is clear to see, and proves the spaces that we live and work can be incredibly aesthetic, original, and highly sustainable.
Located close to Exbury, hence its name, the timber egg has been tethered to the shore to allow it to rise and fall naturally with the tides, much like a boat. Inside, the egg has a place to sleep, a desk for work, a small bench and cooker for meal preparation, and a small ensuite. Just enough to accommodate 1 person with a simple lifestyle that is connected to nature both physically and metaphorically.
Not only will the egg's unique design and character draw attention to its message of environmental awareness, climate change and sustainable living practices, but the project is linked to an educational programme which involved everybody from school children, university students and community participants alike. Schools were able to engage through the entire process, in relation to topics such as science, art, ecology and engineering. Community activity included a series of event, seminars and workshops, which helped draw a huge response from the public.
Inside the egg is exactly what you would expect. A small, well-designed space that is simple yet functional. The dominance of timber inside and out emphasises the connection to nature the message of this project aims to achieve, whilst a small hole in the roof allows light to enter during both the day and the night.
At the opposite end of the egg is the small toilet and shower that adds the finishing touch to the liveable, workable space. The potential energy requirements for the 12 months of use were determined through working out Stephen's anticipated daily routines, as well as estimating the needs for power, in order to address this need with solar.
If you have loved this living and work space with a message, then take a look at these affordable housing solutions, who follow a social movement with a purpose.