Avian Shelter

Avian Shelter

Yining Fang

Humans have never really stopped expanding since the first modern humans migrated out from Africa 60,000 years ago… The AVIAN SHELTER is an anti-tradition space with a slight irony to reflect on the equal relationship between diverse species, which I critically thought about in response to the RSPB’s classic slogan ‘giving nature a home’. Ask myself, is the birdhouse we built a real home for birds? Or is it just a temporary residence like a hotel? In this design project, I will use an extremely artificial way to build a new environment for birds in the city by mimicking their original habitat. This is a highly secure place for birds, which humans cannot quickly enter. There was no glass, no artificial lighting, no spikes and no nylon netting.

When I fly, it’s like in a dream. – Birfy (1984)

In this project, I plan to insert extra chimneys into the space and make these chimneys like the birds’ houses in this bird shelter. Birds can enter and leave the building through the flue, as well as through the windows. The following pictures are some of my experiments on the possible row forms of the chimney in space. By analysis these models, I was trying to study the density, angle and the change of flue in vertical space. The chimney flue can also be regarded as a vertical traffic system of the building to some extent, which is often hidden behind the wall. In this design, the flue is freed from the walls and placed in the middle of the space, just as the fireplace was 4,000 years ago. The fireplace is placed in the middle of the room, designed to be open. To better plan the space, I smoothed the rectangular flue into a circle. This action can weakens the boundaries and makes the space looks more industrial.

Isle of Arran is an island off the coast of Scotland, in the United Kingdom. It is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and the seventh largest Scottish island, at 432 square kilometres. Over 250 species of bird have been recorded on Arran, including black guillemot, eider, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, short-eared owl, red-breasted merganser and black-throated diver. In 1981 there were 28 ptarmigan on Arran, but in 2009 it was reported that extensive surveys had been unable to record any. However, the following year a group of 5 was reported. Similarly, the red-billed chough no longer breeds on the island. 108 km2 of Arran’s upland areas is designated a Special Protection Area under the Natura 2000 programme due to its importance for breeding hen harriers. The island is rich in natural landforms, including mountainous areas, forests, shrubs, rocky beaches and beaches. And it is the most nearby main bird habitat to Glasgow.

Like defensive structures in human buildings, the “defence” function is added to the space to keep birds safe. From the study of the difference between birds and humans, find out the advantages of birds, and feedback it in space, forming a unique protection system. The buildings would become exclusive to the birds.

a) A floor of 5m was excavated to create a new semi-open underground space.This brings two benefits. The first is an extra area for birds to interact with people.Second, the building is raised by nature, increasing the security.

b) Because people can’t fly, so the part of the existing floor near the edge was removed to prevent human from entering the space.

c) Add an abstracted branch fence to the opening of the existing window to keep humans out (only near the floor) because birds are much smaller and more flexible than humans.

In order to reflect the change of bird migration in the space. The transverse space is divided into summer, spring/autumn and winter from inside to outside according to time/season. The merging of spring and autumn is intended to reflect the cycle of seasons from year to year. Vertical space is divided into the most intimate and the least intimate according to the degree of proximity with human from the bottom to up. The geological conditions of Arran Island were analyzed into six categories: towns, farmland, rock patch/bush, lakes, forest and mountain region. The corresponding area shape is used as each floor shape of the different bird area. All five species have been observed on Arran Island, and their inhabit environment can be matched with one of the six previously geological conditions. Depending on the floor area, each of the five species migrates to nearby Glasgow during those seasons of the year.Waxwing, for example, moves south to Glasgow only when the weather gets cold.

As mentioned before, by studying the habitat condition of these five birds, I would visualizing these status through the route of the chimney. In addition, I also designed the environment suitable for their nesting and breeding habits. It needs to be explained here that birds have the ability to build their own nests, so in this design, I would only provide an environment which suitable for them to build their nests instead of helping them to build their nests.

The main materials used in the design are Corten steel, which will turn reddish brown after corrosion, copper, which will turn olive green and even pine green after corrosion, and concrete. The main materials used in the design are Corten steel, which will turn reddish brown after corrosion, copper, which will turn olive green and even pine green after corrosion, and concrete. These materials’s colour will change over time, and the space will come to life. The process of their colour changing is like the building recording the history. In addition, building facade and roof would be keep as is. Copper plates are used to make “mountain” on the fifth floor;Steel plates are used to make chimneys;The ground is concrete.

As a result of the demolition of a large number of existing floors, the interior naturally forms an atrium space where birds can communicate with each other like humans, even if some birds might not be social. Another advantage of the open space is that when people experience the space on the B2 floor, the whole space is like the resonating chamber of a violin, and all the bird songs are combined to echo in the space. And pass down through the vertical chimney.

The project began by exploring the accumulation of time and matter, and evolved from the concept of infinite circulations to abandoned houses. Then turn to think about what other people or species might reoccupy the building when the residents leave, and to develop a new story. In this process, through researching the ruins of human beings, I came up with the concept of “ruin for human, sanctuary for birds”, and then continued to think deeply. Is it the bird that lives in this house that looks like a man, or is it the man that looks like a bird? It’s an alternative idea, where are the boundaries between species. If birds are not birds after they have been given human consciousness? The relationship between human beings and non-human beings and nature is an eternal topic. What should we do in order to co-exist sustainably in this limited land? If human thinking remained superficial, it would be tantamount to ecosystem development. Bird sounds, one of nature’s most dynamic sounds, can only be heard in urban bird shelters after the destruction of forests and wetlands. The use of this ironic “bird-centric” space is a reminder that what we need to do to preserve nature is to deal with the roots. The building is a future ornithological research site, as well as an educational site for ecological conservation.




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