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Colourful cartography: Studio MUTT creates homage to Ordnance Survey in the Lake District

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This £5,000 interactive, semi-inhabitable sculpture draws inspiration from the Ordnance Survey, and was both designed and built by Studio MUTT

To celebrate the Lake District National Park being awarded World Heritage Site status for its cultural landscape in July 2017, Ordnance Pavilion is one of six commissioned for Lakes Ignite, a series of artworks responding to the theme of ’Cultural Landscape’

Created by London and Liverpool-based Studio MUTT, Ordnance Pavilion is an interactive architectural intervention that sits in a quarry in the Langdale Estate. 

Designed as a celebration of the Ordnance Survey, the pavilion aims to explore the impact its mappings have had on the landscape. The pavilion cost £5,000 and was constructed in just a few weeks.

Pavillion 041

Pavillion 041

Designer’s view

The piece celebrates the World Heritage landscape through the lens of the OS Map. As an artefact, OS map data is perfectly ordinary. But it has been a conduit for our human relationship to the landscape in many ways – its geographical conditions as well as the manmade constructions across it.

The idea was to not only create an assemblage of OS references, but to create an intriguing and characterful structure which sat boldly in the landscape, with a presence similar to a small, isolated chapel stranded within the vast rugged landscape. We like to imagine it as part of a network of the lone structures dotted through the landscape.

Pavillion 064

Pavillion 064

The seemingly utilitarian cartography of the maps has become a graphic icon in its own right. So elements from the map are scaled up as monumental forms, while the colours are projected from the map into an architectural scale.

Two inhabitable spaces act as single-person art galleries, one displaying the measured and the other exploring the act of measuring.

The installation synthesises elements from this narrative of retriangulation through a collage of scenes and characters that form a peculiar pavilion. Each part references a specific element in the story of the OS map, whether this be a 3D expression of the maps’ iconic graphics, or the apparatus used by the intrepid surveyors to create it. The whole piece was designed, built and installed by Studio MUTT. 

James Crawford, Studio MUTT

Project data

Start on site and completion January 2018
Gross internal floor area 0.5m²
Form of contract Bespoke
Construction cost £5,000
Client Lakes Culture

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