The Iron

// “An appealing architectural folly that sits beautifully in the landscape. Its complexity is hidden in the execution, which we hope to encourage by giving this accolade. Achieving the wanted texture, sloping of the walls, as well as the sharpness of the edges is quite a feat in construction—an extremely promising project.” // Kees Kaan


Annabelle imbues their latest work with the ‘crackle of life’; an abstract sensory experience experienced in atmospheric spaces.

“Crackle of life is just one way of describing the profound feeling of energy we experience in atmospheric spaces. Natural environments capture it easily; a woodland clearing with sunlight blistering through the trees canopy of leaves is a simple example of one.

Designed from the heart, the brief for the commission was for it to create connection to life in all its natural forms. Whilst it is to be a Sculptors workspace it has also become a sculpture in its own right as the landscape it is set to be in is so special also.

The Iron is to harness all natural aspects of the site.  Physically it is forged entirely from Earth elements building itself up from the ground in the purest local form of material resulting in beautiful rammed earth slab work. Its walls terminate at a parapet opening to the sky to share the day and night’s sky and stars and all of weather’s many natural occurrences including day light patterns to the space within.

Allowing the folly to be open means that the experience inside the building is very specific to the time, season and year. Rain, sunlight, snow and wind dance through the open space, working with the sculptor to create their works of art. The architecture frames the sculptor’s experience of the place and creates exciting and inspiring opportunities to interact with natural forces and balances our smallness against the worlds vastness, with the purpose being to anchor the individual to their practice of sculpting.

Hugely inspiring examples of built architectural works such as Bruder Laus Chapel by Peter Zumthor have been the inspiration for this project.


Manchester Society of Architects Awards 2022// Winner / Community unbuilt Award