birdhouses

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Art

Thick Clusters of Wooden Birdhouses by London Fieldworks Sprawl Across Tree Trunks

August 20, 2020

Anna Marks

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven.” All images © London Fieldworks

In London Fieldworks’ delicate creations, architecture meets nature. Its installations feature pine-colored clusters of minuscule wooden forms that appear to grow upon vast tree trunks. Founded by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks is a collaborative and multidisciplinary arts practice with projects at the intersection of architecture, sculpture, installation, and film. 

Each of the homes has rounded windows and doors, while those on large evergreen trees resemble natural objects, such as wasp and hornet nests or even fungi and mushrooms. From reflecting Clerkenwell’s urban renewal to offering new habitats for animals, the sprawling birdhouses fuse architectural ideas with nature and art, resulting in sculptures that integrate effortlessly in both natural and urban spaces. Through its installations, the practice explores its concern with the climate crisis through the lens of history, the environment, and culture.

One work, “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven,” references opposite sides of London: Duncan Terrace Gardens in the east and Cremorne Gardens in the west. The installation is constructed from hundreds of bespoke bird boxes reflecting the forms of the local architecture—a combination of Modernist 60’s social housing and Georgian townhouses

Explore more of London Fieldworks’ projects on its site. You also might enjoy this similarly dense complex for avian neighbors.

 

“Spontaneous City: Clerkenwell”

Right: “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven”

“Spontaneous City in the Tree of Lebanon”

 

 



Design

Mid-Century Modern Perches Offer a Minimalist Haven for Backyard Birds

May 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Douglas Bernhard

Accented with wood-slatted porches and bright water dishes, these mid-century modern birdhouses by Douglas Barnhard give avian neighbors with particular aesthetic sensibilities a reason to flock home. Barnhard, who’s behind the Santa Cruz-based company Sourgrassbuilt, builds the succulent-studded abodes from bamboo, cedar, teak, and glossy laminate. With clean lines and angular features, they emulate the architecture pioneered by Joseph Eichler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Bauhaus.

To offer your feathered companions a modern upgrade, see which works Barnhard has available on Etsy, and check out the home he renovated into a miniature art gallery on Instagram. (via Apartment Therapy)

 

 

 



Art

A Dense Cluster of Birdhouses by Artist Bob Verschueren Rests in a Treetop

April 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Annecy Paysages

Hopefully, the birds flocking to Bob Verschueren’s wooden housing complex won’t mind if their neighbors stay up late chirping or make too much noise as they head out in the morning to look for worms. Resembling a dense apartment building with shared walls and common perches, Vershueren’s “Implantations” features rows of stacked homes that vary in size for multiple birds to live in simultaneously. They’re a stark contrast to traditional single-family birdhouses.

The Brussels-based artist erected the tree-like pillar—which also bears a likeness to the Tower of Babel—in the Jardin de l’Europe as part of Annecy Paysages 2017, an annual festival that embeds art throughout the French city. After its debut, the work was installed permanently.

For more of Verschueren’s work, check out the book he released in 2013. You also can find future installation plans that merge art, nature, and landscapes on Annecy Paysages’s Instagram. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Craft Design

Retro Birdhouse Camper Kit Makes the Perfect Backyard Outpost

April 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In a charming sendup of the current camper van resurgence, Marcus Williams and Sj Stone of the Nashville-based design studio One Man, One Garage have created a set of vintage camper birdhouse kits that are the perfect backyard outpost for a family of birds. The design was inspired by a 1974 Serro Scotty Hilander that once belonged to Williams, complete with decorative window shades and accessories such as flowers, a grill, and a few lawn flamingos. The wooden models each come in a 40-piece set, which are flat-packed for easy construction. You can purchase a painted or customizable kit from the duo’s Etsy shop, and see more of their wood-based designs on their website and Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

  

 

 



Art

Danish Street Art Project Has Built Over 3,500 Urban Bird Houses Since 2006

November 22, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist and designer Thomas Dambo (previously) specializes in building family-friendly installations from upcycled materials. One of Dambo’s many interactive projects is Happy City Birds, a ongoing series that lies at the intersection of street art and community development. The Danish artist builds bird houses across urban centers, installing the new homes against buildings, grouped on tall poles, or spaced throughout existing trees.

Since 2006, Dambo and his crew have constructed more than 3,500 birdhouses with recycled wood and paint. Although a large percentage of his works are concentrated in Arken (you can see a Google map of the bird house locations here), many more of them can be found dotting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Horsens, Beirut, and Berlin. You can see more of Dambo’s bird houses, including this human-size build, and a collection of camoflauged homes, on Dambo’s website.

 

 



Design History

The Ornate Bird Palaces of Ottoman-Era Turkey

July 28, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Several photos courtesy of Caner Cangül

An important element of Ottoman architecture in Turkey was the addition of birdhouses affixed to the outer walls of significant city structures, a safe space for regular avian guests to nest outside of mosques, inns, bridges, libraries, schools, and fountains. The birdhouses were not simple concrete structures, but rather elaborate feats of miniature architecture that ranged from one-story homes to multiple-story bird mansions. Each was designed with a similar design aesthetic to the country’s larger buildings, simultaneously providing shelter to sparrows, swallows, and pigeons while preventing bird droppings from corroding the walls of the surrounding architecture.

In addition to providing shelter, the birdhouses fulfilled a religious vision. They were thought to grant good deeds to those that built the tiny homes. Through their abundance and care, the structures encouraged a love of animals in the Turkish public, citizens who adopted several nicknames for the homes over the years including “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions), “güvercinlik” (dovecots) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace).

Only some of these bird mansions remain today, however their place is firmly rooted in Turkish history. Nearly every city in the country contains examples of the bird homes, the oldest example, a 16th-century house attached to the Büyükçekmece Bridge, still surviving in Istanbul. (via Jeroen Apers)