The cozy Papay fire shelter may look like a traditional nomadic tent, but it was actually manufactured with techniques mimicking the latest digital fabrication technology. Designers at SHJWORKS conceived a place for songs and storytelling that is also strong enough to withstand heavy storms and gales. It became the heart of the Gyro Nights 2014 festival for which it was initially designed, and received this year's Knap o Howar Art Prize.
The shelter was used during the Papay Gyro Nights 2014 festival, which celebrates video art, sound art, experimental film, music and architecture. It takes place at the first full moon in February on Papa Westray, a small island in the northern part of the Orkney Islands.
The shelter’s structure was inspired by the craftsmanship of tailors. The two-dimensional plywood pieces were sewn together into three-dimensional objects. And then, instead of using a CNC router, which was not available on the remote island Papa Westray, a simple jig saw was used to cut the plywood pieces. They were then sewn together with rope. This technique proved to be effective and the structure exhibited great strength. A hole in the top is meant to let out the smoke from the fire, while stones were placed on the floor shelf to anchor the structure to the ground.