Portfolio / The Urban-est by Snohetta

The Urban-est by Snohetta

The Urban-est was designed by Snohetta as a nest/birdhouse that could fit within the hollows of a standard masonry block. The prototype was developed for the Design Trust for Public Space’s 2009 Annual Benefit auction.

The exterior surface was comprised of laser-cut 1/8″ birch and acrylic layers built up into a topography creating perches and entrances into the nest. The laser-cut birch pieces extended back into the hollows of the masonry unit, with the opposite end clad with one-way glass allowing those on the inside of the wall to observe the nesting habits of the birds (a clear acrylic panel was used in the prototype). Since the dense birch plywood develops a char along the cut line in the laser, all of the birch pieces were hand-finished to remove the discoloration.

Diagram and photos of final assembly provided by Snohetta.