6a Architects and Eley Kishimoto were commissioned by the Architecture Foundation to help launch its new gallery on Old Street. The brief was for an external installation exploring architecture's role in creating public space. Hairywood was conceived as a built piece of architecture allowing the public to engage directly with the ideas behind the new public space. Hairywood creates a threshold into the new gallery space and offers an escape from Old Street to watch the world go by. The small, upholstered space at the top is like a fragment of private space open to the street. The plywood cladding is laser-cut with Rapunzel's hair pattern allowing dappled light into the interior, making the tower glow at night. A printed deck, benches and canopy provide a larger public space behind the tower. The tower was inspired by Jacques Tati's film 'Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot' (1958) for which Tati built a bay window high on a wooden tower to juxtapose interior intimacy with the public beach. Tati's romantic image was reinterpreted on Old Street where a small domestic beacon offers a new human measure to the relentless traffic. Tati's contemporary, the Situationist Guy Debord, famously stated: “beneath the pavement, the beach”.
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