Sorcha Maguire (Design & Construction), Caisin Nic An Bheatha (Design & Construction), Eoghan McKendry (Design & Construction), Michael Murphy (Construction), George Voronov (Construction), Cian Monaghan (Construction)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
Delta den is a structure nestled between forest, meadow and river at Kilyon Manor, Co. Meath.
Designed and constructed by the collective *Mammals+* for Another Love Story, an annual festival which prides itself on showcasing different aspects of Irish talent in music and design. The brief was to “create something to define and activate the space by the river”.
Working in this sort of environment brought challenges in the form of a tight budget and a narrow timeframe. At the onset of the project, different points were identified which determined and drove certain aspects of the design. Coordination within the festival environment required consideration and preparation in terms of structural stability due to the high footfall anticipated and exposed weather conditions. The intention was to construct a temporary structure with a flexible construction method and a harmonising aesthetic which would serve as an intimate space, giving respite to swimmers.
How the brief was fulfilled
Mammals+ are a team of six creative minds, drawn together through shared interests in architecture, events, photography and furniture. As designers and makers, this riverside project is the confluence of their broad skillsets. The wide variety of backgrounds provided different perspective, from craftsmanship to composition and organisation to design, each person approached and contributed to the project in a distinct way.
Delta Den is an A frame structure which acted as a tea house and meeting point on the banks of the River Deel. The triangular form of the construction spoke to the existing aesthetic and iconography of the festival site.
Sustainability was a key aspect of the design. The structure was built using standard timber lengths and designed in such a way as to minimise cutting and maximize efficiency in assembly, as the timeline only allowed for 4 days on site. Given the requirement that zero trace was left behind, the design catered for ease in both disassembly and storage, with the intention to reconstruct the pavilion in the following years with potential for adaptations and extensions.
Timber panels were made which acted as both a cladding system and assisted with lateral stability. Aesthetically, the linear pattern of these contrasted with the freeform natural landscape surrounding the den.
The verticality hints at the large woodland nearby, from which the peak of the triangular form reveals itself and beckons festival goers to the riverside, a new destination within the festival grounds.
Delta Den strived to be a shelter that sparked connections, nurtured the nomads and inspired adventure. Alongside the den, a decking area was also built offering access to the river which had previously been unapproachable due to the step in the landscape. In collaboration with the festival carpenters and architect, Mammals+ designed the decking platform with a seating area looking out to the river. Creating a language through construction techniques was a fundamental aspect required to tie these two structures together. The linear language was emphasised and an idea about offsetting timber formed the design of the feature seat as part of the deck. The combination of the two created an area which was a moment of calm in the midst of a festival, beyond that which would usually be found in rural Ireland.