Middlehaven Timber Hut

The tent’s usefulness lies in its flexibility: on Saturday a grill-house replacing the football-match burger vans, on a summer evening a barbeque – part of the end of term celebrations at the near by Sixth Form College, or on a rainy day, a shelter for students to sit and chat.

Client: Bioregional Quintain

Location: Middlesbrough

Award: Second Prize

Budget: £12000

The smoke hole was a response to the brief set by BioRegional Quintain, the former developer of the Middlehaven harbour area of Middlesbrough.  The brief asked for a flexible, timber pavilion that responded to the landscape of Middlehaven – a former industrial waterfront, surrounded by factories and chimneys – many now redundant and awaiting redevelopment as part of the masterplan for the area set out by Will Alsop.

It takes from the tradition of the nomads’ tent; where smoke was used as a means of communicating. The hut becomes a vessel for mixing; bringing together residents, workers, students and visitors. The lightweight timber frame construction uses standard materials from nearby timber yards, and the roof is a kaleidoscopic array of coloured shingles made from recycled lorry-tarpaulin.

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