Wild Homes for Wildlife
Upcycling with IKEA in the Royal Borough of Greenwich
With wildlife in London increasingly under threat, experts suggest building safe, suitable homes for wild animals. With IKEA’s most sustainable store to date opening on the Greenwich Peninsula in early 2019, seven designers were asked to build amazing houses for birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife in the local area.
Beep Studio were asked to design and create ‘Animal Homes’ using up-cycled IKEA products, getting people excited about helping local wildlife by turning the ordinary into something extraordinary.
The resulting design is a flock of nesting boxes for families of birds, springing from a timber pole like blossom.
This cluster of homes for birds is adapted from IKEA’s ‘Stråla’ table lamp base, combined with the Studio’s own ‘Zone’ shade to create eye catching impact from minimal components. The Studio was keen for the installation to be fully three-dimensional, so it is best enjoyed by non-avian visitors ‘in the round’ on site at Sutcliffe Park.
The studio worked with wildlife expert Dusty Gedge to discuss the end users and their individual needs. Three sizes of shade allow for a range of birds to use the nesting boxes: entrance holes are sized to provide the perfect access for the intended homeowners, and to limit access to unwanted intruders.
Small – Blue Tits
Medium – Robins & Great Tits, and
Large - Starlings.
Not all the pods are nesting habitats – some store materials like wool and hay for lining nests, whilst others store foods such as fat and seeds.
Beep Studio writes:
”We’ve given our installation the Swedish name ‘Mundstråla’, which translates into English as ‘Moonbeam’. Inspiration came from the components - the name of the IKEA base and the shape of our ‘Zone’ shade.”
The design was fully modelled in 3D, after which lampshade components were assembled at Beep Studio’s offices, with the eucalyptus wood telegraph pole prepared in the adjacent workshop. Production then moved to site, with a total of 32 shades mounted on the pole before installation by the Parks team from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.