Oak Rooms

Landscape architecture of an estate in France. We design in dialogue with natures, with the ecosystem, using ecological principles. It is a process focussed mode of design linking abstract forms and figurative elements of an animistic nature. 

These processes are an improvisation with wood, forest, trees through performative gestures. The performance is as important as the visual result.

Oak Rooms

2009 - ongoing  |  media: landscape  |  location: Vendée, France  |  scale: 1 hectare

 
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Oak Rooms works with the ecological dynamics of a woodland. 

What was originally a field surrounded by hedgerows has been allowed to self-seed; a large proportion of the trees that arrived are ash trees. We are accompanying the growth of this young wood. We first established an improvised set of paths. Then started to create circular rooms around oak trees by thinning the ash around. These are extended as the oaks grow. 

Gradually a set of rooms extend, and eventually join to form a labyrinth. They are separated by dense screens ash trees.

We are planning a second landscape gesture once this will have matured. We will cut geometrically shaped clearings to restart and accelerate the succession process. This will increase the resilience of the wood by increasing regeneration. 

 
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Project team

 

Photographers: Eric Guibert 

 

Drawings: Eric Guibert

 

Volunteers

 

Robin Pembrooke

 

Carole Topolski

 

Iain Field

 

Paul Macey

 

Stephen Froggatt

 

Andrew Pembrooke

 

Carole Pembrooke

 

Oliver Salway

 

Ivan Tennant

 

Ed Watson

 

 

 

 
 
 The successional plans of the Oak Rooms wood: top left are the first five years of improvised paths; top right is the current situation of Oak Rooms; bottom left, the next planned stage of a first circular clearing and cut axis; to its right is the envisioned next stage of added clearings which are then left to regenerate and disappear until another is created. 

The successional plans of the Oak Rooms wood: top left are the first five years of improvised paths; top right is the current situation of Oak Rooms; bottom left, the next planned stage of a first circular clearing and cut axis; to its right is the envisioned next stage of added clearings which are then left to regenerate and disappear until another is created.