Spotted: London studio Hayatsu Architects and Danish artist Tue Greenfort have commissioned a temporary public art installation in Milton Keynes to revitalise Station Square. The installation—named “The Modernist Glade”—is an experiment in urban renewal underpinned by a symbiotic relationship with nature.
In a twist on Milton Keynes’s 1960s town plan, the architects divided the square into a grid of four smaller spaces, each of which features different activities and ideas. The centrepiece of the installation is a wooden “pavilion” – a square structure with various mushroom bags hanging from the ceiling. A canvas stretches over the roof and the walls. This can be removed to make the pavilion entirely open.
The square also includes two lawns that have been “rewilded” with flowers, plants and fungi, which will hopefully attract endangered pollinators. One of the lawns has a timber screen and canopy for screenings, while the other will contain a beehive.
Creativity and collaboration are key elements of the project. Tue Greenfort comments, “We see this pavilion as a laboratory where you can come together and make things”.
Eventually, fungi will cover the planters and log seating spread across the square. Their roots—known technically as mycelia—create an underground network through which nutrients are shared. This is poetically symbolic of the spirit of mutual aid which the installation hopes to foster over the next two years. It poses a crucial question: how can we cohabit with other species and live harmoniously alongside them in the urban world?
Written By: Katrina Lane