In Praise Of Nests and Other Things
by Thomas Savage

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage

These towering seaside structures imagined by Northumbria University student Thomas Savage would offer habitats for wild birds in winter and house water sports enthusiasts during the summer.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Hostel during winter - click for larger image

Thomas Savage developed the concept for the coastal stretches outside Blyth, a port town in northern England where industrial industries are in decline and the local community is keen to promote more sustainable technologies and activities.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Hostel during summer - click for larger image

"The brief was to produce a museum with hostel accommodation," Savage told Dezeen. "I found out that the town already had both an ornithological society and a water sports community. Both are active in different seasons, so I realised I could bring them together."

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Hostel room exploded diagram

He proposes a series of nine-storey hostel towers along the beach, comprising steel scaffolding and concrete cabins. In the summer and autumn seasons these spaces would form a campsite, with communal areas for preparing food and storing equipment, while during the winter and spring the cabins would be boarded up to create protected nesting areas.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Visitor centre - click for larger image

Birds would access the spaces through tunnel-like openings in the roof and birdwatchers would be able to climb up around the surrounding staircases and platforms.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Site plan - click for larger image

A visitor centre would be located nearby, on the banks above the promenade.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Hostel floor plans - click for larger image

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things is the graduation project for Savage's Part I architecture degree at Northumbria University, under tutor Sebastian Messer.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Hostel cross section - click for larger image

Other graduate projects featured on Dezeen include a shape-shifting ballet school and conceptual towers designed to replace bees.

Here's a short text from Savage:

In Praise Of Nests & Other Things

The project is located on the outskirts of Blyth, the most populous town in Northumberland. The port remains active, but Blyth's legacy of heavy industry has slowly been replaced with offshore and clean energy technologies. The project seeks to capitalise on the extraordinary, sweeping beaches of the north east coast. A distinct change in visitors and uses occurs between winter and summer. This is highlighted by the project, which switches functions (for its human inhabitants) between bird-watching in winter and spring and water sports in summer and autumn. The scheme provides for both human and avian occupants to take temporary 'roost', each during their season.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Visitor centre cross section - click for larger image

The scheme has two sites: the visitor centre on the banks above the promenade and the hostel towers on the beach and in the water. The two buildings are linked by raised reciprocal views from viewing platforms that wrap around the structures.

In Praise Of Nests and Other Things by Thomas Savage
Visitor centre detailed section - click for larger image

The original concept designs were made from off cuts of other architectural models, mimicking the nature of birds' nests which depend on found materials in their construction. These were photographed, superimposed and recombined to begin to define an architectural language.

  • fitty

    Good god, the “industrial industries” are in decline! Doesn’t look very sustainable… why not taking the industrial industries’ vacant vacancies and define a strategical strategy?

  • brononamous

    Define a strategical strategy…

    This is a imaginative piece of design thinking, obviously not a serious proposal, the poor guy has the rest of his life to define strategical strategies! Why not let him have some fun (and do thinking!) at school?

  • Franky

    Why is student work so dystopian all the time…bloody hell. Some love please, a little bit of love. Otherwise nicely presented piece of work.

  • slw

    Is this not just another student’s excuse to produce a series of images that attempt to come close to Nicholas Szczepaniak’s silver-medal-winning “Defensive Architecture” back in 2009? Cables, rope and billowing fabric out at sea. Google it if you’re not aware of the project.

    • Pedro

      To be honest, no, the schemes are completely different. Visually these images have colour where as your beloved Nicholas’ “militarised coastal defence towers” use only black and white images.

      I could go on really but I think what you should ask yourself “Is this not just another” ridiculous over-critical comparison in a search for some thumbs up? I mean, it’s a part one project and you dig up a part two thesis from the archives…

  • Keep in mind that the "water sports enthusiasts" could look forward to cleaning out all the seagull poop before the summer season commenced.

    • rich

      Exactly! :)

  • E.Scullion

    These comments are ridiculous. This is an extremely impressive part one project.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Oh my God! How are birds living now? Without these structures? How have they survived millions of years without a man-built habitat? It’s just amazing.

  • Nice scheme derived from an interesting concept.

  • RDempster

    Funny, it’s always easier to point and laugh. A well thought out and well executed piece of work. Any student project placed here this week was due to come under fire with many people jumping on the bandwagon of a certain article that was published recently. Well done sir and well done Northumbria University for producing and nurturing a solid body of work.

  • Peter Durst

    Come on people, remember this is paper architecture, from a student, with a fantastic conceptual idea and creative solutions to his brief. Remember back to your time at architecture school before being so critical and if you haven’t been, well that says it all.

  • Sam

    Very nice scheme! Keep in mind the student is only a Part 1. Some of these negative comments are laughable at best.

  • Yolandi

    Nice project with an interesting concept. Just a point to those who post negative comments: show us the link to your project as featured by Dezeen!

  • Jordi Panzram

    Nice project despite the obvious problems with it. However the “industrial industries” line is killing me!

  • Will there be any lost children accommodated there?
    The visuals are reminiscent of Jeunet and Caro's "La Cite des Enfants Perdus".
    Thomas Savage wasn't haunted by the movie as a child was he?
    The project looks like a delightful unconscious reference.

  • Oh my god. How are birds living now, without these structures? How have they survived for millions of years without a man-made habitat?