Living build: NEON’s ’Shiver House’ reacts to weather with shingle design

Living build: NEON’s ’Shiver House’ reacts to weather with shingle design

London design studio NEON have created ’Shiver House’ as part of this summer’s Barfotastigen exhibition. Hosted in Finland, the annual outdoor event focuses on site-specific art, created to interact with the environment and spectators alike. 

Held in Korppoo, in the Turku archipelago of southern Finland, ’Shiver House’ is based on the principles of mökki – traditional wooden Finnish huts – with a rather poetic twist. Dressing the four-sided timber frame are approximately 600 counter-weighted shingles made from folded polypropylene sheets, mounted on rows of tensioned steel wire. 

In good weather, the plastic shingles lie flat, allowing views of the surrounding landscape to flood in. Wind, rain and snow cause the singles to rotate into a closed position, creating a protective, sheltering skin. 

’The project is a kinetic, animal-like structure,’ explains NEON director Mark Nixon. ’It moves and adapts in response to surrounding natural forces. It 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.’ 

It also explores the idea of ’living’ architecture; where a structure can be seen to be alive and dynamic whilst also serving traditional ’housing’ requirements.  ’[We wanted to create a structure that] could induce the meditative state and sense of awe that we feel when we watch winds blow across a meadow, waves crashing against the rocks or the underwater ocean landscape; something that develops a new meaning beyond pure biomimicry’. 

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