A wilderness hut, or backcountry shelter, is a primitive mountain shelter for temporary accommodation, usually located in wilderness areas, national parks and along backpacking and hiking routes. They can be found in many parts of the world, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, northern Russia, the Alps, the Pyrenees. Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United A wilderness hut, or backcountry shelter, is a primitive mountain shelter for temporary accommodation, usually located in wilderness areas, national parks and along backpacking and hiking routes. They can be found in many parts of the world, such as the Alps, the Pyrenees, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Every year in Korpo (an island out of Turku, Finland) take place Barfotastigen, an exhibition that focuses on environmental and site-specific art exploring the human-nature relationship and nature’s impact on us in one way or another. It invites the public to take part of the unique nature of the archipelago and experience contemporary art that has been created to interact with the environment.
“While most works are temporary with a life span of 4 months to a year, Shiver House quickly became part of the site in a very prominent way. Therefore – to the delight of our visitors, the organizers of the Korpo Sea Jazz festival, and of course ourselves – we decided to commission a new version of the work and make it a more permanent feature of the exhibition. The concept of the work suits well to be experienced in all seasons and times of the day. The everchanging conditions strongly and fittingly alter the mood of the work, ranging from lively and light to somber and subdued” Sandra Nyberg the curator of Barfotastigen explained.
Shiver House by NEON, a studio founded to investigate the territory between architecture, art, and design, is a radical reinvention of the common Finnish Hut. The project is a kinetic “animal-like” structure that moves and adapts in response to surrounding natural forces. Shiver House is an exploration into the idea that architecture can be used as a means to create a closer emotional link between its inhabitants and the natural world it sits within. In addition, the project explores the idea that architecture can be made to seem “alive” with the intention that this will engender a deeper and longer-lasting emotional relationship between people and the structures we inhabit.
“While the world is adjusting to the new reality of Covid-19 I feel that there needs to be a greater emphasis given to the way architecture, art, and design might be used as a means of reducing anxiety, connecting us with nature and bringing people together again in public spaces. Shiver House’s architecture is in a constant state of transformation and ‘performs’ with the ever-changing flows of the wind, it is an ideal means of grounding people in the present moment” said Mark Nixon of NEON.
The house employs the use of 600 kinetic counter-weighted shingles which respond to the changing weather conditions of the site. Wind, rain, and snow cause the shingles to rotate into a closed position giving the structure the temporary appearance and function of a shelter.
The Shiver House by NEON is constantly transforming between being a functional shelter and a poetic and experiential device. Users that sit within the structure can observe the ever-changing environment as they watch the kinetic shingles modulate the internal light levels as well as views out to the surrounding landscape.
The project is constructed using a simple timber structure which supports a number of rows of tensioned steel wire. These steel wires are treated as batons and are designed to hold the counterweighted shingles. The shingles are constructed using a folded and cut Airplane Ply which has been soaked in a protective oil. The counterweight is constructed using a stainless-steel nut and bolt.
Conceptually, the piece suggests that architecture, rather than static and function-led can be a poetic, living, and dynamic element which changes the way we relate to the landscape that surrounds us. Watch the video here.
Photo credit: NEON