Natalie Jeremijenko’s TREExOFFICE at 2015 London Festival of Architecture


Photo: Jack Hobhouse

Natalie Jeremijenko is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department, NYU. Previously she was on the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD, Faculty of Engineering at Yale University, a visiting professor at Royal College of Art in London, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Michigan State University, and a Visiting Global Distinguished Professor at they NYU College of Arts and Sciences. Natalie will be speaking as part of This Public Life's conference program. Read more about Natalie.

London Festival of Architecture 2015: wrapped around atree trunk in east London's Hoxton Square, this translucent podprovides temporary office space intended to encourage workers into the borough's parks.

TREExOFFICEwas created by London architecture studio Tate Harmer, in collaboration with architecture firm Gensler and artists Natalie Jeremijenko and Shuster +Moseley. It is the first project completed under the Park Hack initiative, which was set up by the local council in collaboration with arts and environmental charities Arts Admin and Groundwork to prototype ways of enhancing public parks and spaces across the London Borough of Hackney.

The raised pavilion is anchored to the ground by stilts and encircles the trunk of a tree in Hoxton Square – one of 60,000 trees that populate the borough's parklands. The structure is made from compressed paper and timber and is enclosed by rows of translucent plastic and polycarbonate slats that provide views into the surrounding greenery.

"Developing the Hoxton TREExOFFICE has been an amazing opportunity to create a new office concept, changing the way we work in thecity," said Tate Harmer co-founder Rory Harmer.

"The design highlights the need to improve and utilise our urban green spaces in newand fun ways for everyone to enjoy."

The translucent pod is equipped with wooden workbenches, electricity and Wi-Fi. One of eight desk spaces can be bookedby contacting the landlord– known as the tree – who is also the author of Twitter account @HOXTONxTREE. Money raised from renting the space to businesses during the week will be pumped back into maintaining Hackney's parks. Community groups can book the podfree of charge for weekends.

"The innovative design of the TREExOFFICEwill provide a space not only where people can work and meet, but also to interact with the natural environment," said health, social care and culture councillor Jonathan McShane, describing it as "a vastly different experience from working in a modern office".

The project was completed at the beginning of June to coincide with the London Festival of Architecture – a month-long series of installations, temporary exhibitions and events – and will be in situ until December.If the pilot is successful, the scheme will be rolled out to other sites in Hackney.

Originally published in de zeen magazine website. Read full article.