Pop-up cottage installation recalls history of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
- Credit: Archant
A Dutch “arty-tect” is behind the latest installation to pop up around the Olympic Park.
Ruud Reutelingsperger and his art company Observatorium have recreated an enlarged timber-frame copy of an old lock keeper’s cottage that once sat on the very same site in Carpenter’s Road, Newham, along the River Lea.
The aim of the project is to reconnect the park, which has changed at a dramatic pace over the past seven years following London’s successful Olympic bid, with its own history.
It was discovered the cottage was lived in by a Mr Newton, giving the installation it’s title of Newton’s Cottage.
“Because of the park this whole history has vanished and we hardly see it anymore,” said Ruud, the project’s lead artist, speaking at the official unveiling on Wednesday.
“We live in a disconnected world. We have the history of the area and then something like the Orbit, which goes up to the stars, and we wanted to connect these separated worlds.”
He described his work as a combination of art and architecture, quoting his own daughter’s “arty-tecture” description as a convenient portmanteau of the two disciplines.
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It is hoped visitors would engage with the multi-storey structure by starting conversations with strangers and even carving a message into the wood.
The project cost £60,000 in total to bring to life, with construction taking place in Rotterdam before the whole thing was disassembled and transported to England where it was put back together.
Three fine woodwork diploma students from Stratford’s Building Crafts College had a direct hand in making and building Newton’s Cottage, including spending two weeks in the Netherlands.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” said student Tim Handley, 27, from Manor Park. “It was completely different to what we do normally.”
A number of artisan activities, from stone masonry to wood carving, will take place at the cottage before it finally comes down on November 29. Ruud said he hoped the wood would be recycled and reused within the area in some way.