A highly unusual houseboat bobs on the surface of the River Beaulieu in Hampshire, UK. ‘Exbury Egg‘ is a floating, mobile live-in laboratory used to study the wildlife of the estuary. Made of cedar using traditional boat-building techniques, this egg-shaped office includes a hammock, a desk, a stove and a bathroom.
Artist Stephen Turner collaborated with Perring Architecture & Design to develop the concept for the office and bring it to life. Measuring 6×3 meters (about 10×20 feet), the Exbury Egg is just large enough to house the necessary functions, including integral storage and display areas.
The egg is constructed mostly from reused and reclaimed cedar and other local, often scavenged materials. While the exterior is laminated, it will be allowed to take on a natural patina over time from exposure to sun and water. It is anchored to the shore, and rises and falls with the tide.
Turner intends to stay within the egg as he immerses himself in the natural setting, observing the cycles and processes that keep the estuary healthy. “The artwork created will stem from Stephen?s occupation, developing through direct experience an understanding of local natural cycles and processes and the relationship of the environment to the narratives of human activity in the unending calendar of seasonal life,” says the design team.