Embassy for Refugees designed by Natasha Reid

August 29, 2013


Two experimental, sculptural timber pavilions formed an “Embassy for Refugees” on London’s South Bank this summer, inspired by spaces of refuge found in nature. This unusual project, by emerging designer Natasha Reid, weaves together art, architecture, innovative design and socially-engaged practice to explore the idea of sanctuary in the city.

The surprising structures, made of a flat-pack kit of over 700 intricate parts, strike a balance between rigorous economy of materials whilst creating delightfully striking organic forms.

The fleeting structures will now have a continued legacy as a travelling artwork called the “Transient Sanctuary” which will emerge in a variety of sites around London and the UK, creating new, unexpected spaces and interactive installations exploring the idea of “refuge” in different contexts.

Natasha Reid worked with children from a reugee charity to develop the design, the ’embassy for refugees’

The highly inventive design is the culmination of several cross-disciplinary collaborations initiated by architecturally-trained Reid who worked with refugee children and engineers Arup amongst others.

The dynamic, external structure is tough and robust, revealing an ethereal inner lining

Construction drawings ‘the embassy for refugees’

‘the embassy for refugees concept is an ongoing investigation into whether it’s possible to engage with social issues through design. by using practice as research and by crossing several disciplines, the experimental, embassy pavilions explore a range of interpretations of what sanctuary and refuge can mean.’ – natasha reid, designer of the ’embassy for refugees’

Design:Natasha Reid
Photography: Miguel Santa Clara, Simon Kennedy

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