An early love of reading builds imagination, teaches comprehension skills, and endows kids with an appreciation for learning disguised as fun. In order to encourage kids of all ages to explore the universe of books, the Cleveland Public Library recently erected a giant bird's nest made from reclaimed wood. Custom designed by New York artist Mark Reigelman and LAND Studio, the Reading Nest is just one element of an installation called “See Also,” which brings public art to the library's Eastman Reading Garden.
Do you remember watching Seasame Street? Well, the Reading Nest reminds me of the home inhabited by larger-than-life Big Bird. Built from 10,000 palette boards and two-by-fours collected from various Cleveland industrial and manufacturing sources, the nest is 10 feet tall and a whopping 36 feet across. The nest’s walls slope gently upward like a mixing bowl, and are reinforced with steel cable so that, unlike a real bird’s nest, the wind won’t be able to knock it down.
“Reading Nest uses many shades of gold to achieve a dynamic golden hue,” writes designer Mark Reigelman. “Some of the gathered wood is used without modification but most is painted. This color choice is inspired by the legendary Griffin. This king of beasts, with the rear body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, is said to have made its nest of pure gold and, which it then had to protect ferociously. The Griffin is regularly seen sculpted from stone and standing guard at the entrances of civic buildings including The Cleveland Public Library.”
Inside the Reading Nest looks much like the outside — a circular ground space where kids can sit, watch clouds, or play hide and seek. Just like baby birds, I’ve never met a kid (or adult) who didn’t like crawling away into a hidden nook every now and then, and that’s just the kind of fantastic semi-seclusion offered by the Nest. The structure will be in place through October 18th, 2013, so if you’re visiting Cleveland this summer, be sure to check it out.
via A/N Blog
All images © Mark A. Reigelman II