Helen & Hard ‘Ratatosk’ – willow canopy

The Helen & Hard ‘Ratatosk’ climbing structure is nearing completion in the V&A John Madejski Garden. Another gorgeous sunny day in South Kensington…the two project architects on site, Dag Strass and Caleb Reed, have now grafted strips of willow onto the stumps of the CNC-carved ash trees to create a stunning roof canopy. Taking a close look at the ten ash trees in this bright sunlight, it is fantastic to see the raw, unfiltered quality of the rough exterior bark – complete with moss and gnarled knots. Such a dramatic contrast with the very precise planes that have been carved out on the smooth, burnished interior of the trees. As with the Rural Studio Woodshed facade, it’s great to see how much of the original wood grain is preserved in these tactile, material surfaces.

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