THE NEST is located on Pomona Island in central Manchester. This project wanted to celebrate the fact that as a wasteland, the island had a rich ecosystem, therefore the actual island was left untouched so nature could have a chance to flourish without any human activity. Instead of making the island fit for humans, the landscape was changed so it could comfortably inhabit a beaver population as this specific mammal can improve local ecosystems and speed up the rewilding process. While small mammals, insects and amphibians use their nests as a hibernating spots, landscape changes made by beavers are making the soil more fertile and as there is more nutrition available, the amount of herbivores and birds will increase which again increases the amount of predators.
As humans weren’t allowed to access the island to lower their negative impact on the ongoing rewilding process, they were offered an opportunity to observe and explore nature in the floating building outside the island. In this building, humans were able to swim in an outdoor swimming pool, go to saunas and explore the rewilding process and the life of beavers through movement in an explorative playground.
As this project focused on preserving the nature, the building was designed to have as low impact on the surroundings as possible. As the structure is floating above the water, the building has no permanent impact on site, rather it can be moved away when no longer needed and the nature remains unharmed. The external facade of the building is made out of recycled plastic found from UK’s nature and the installation wrapping over the playground is made out of branches from native trees. As the outlook of the building refers back to the beavers’ construction methods, it is also a reminder of the extent of overconsumption.