Calcium Nest




Temporary Ephemeral Installation
Client: CUBE, Centre for Urban and Built Environment London Metropolitan
Stage: Completed Design Team: Cristina Morbi, Aurora Destro, Kristina Chan


Performative. Growth. Erosion. Reconstruction. Ecology.

Recent studies have shown that wild birds breeding in acidified areas have difficulties with obtaining sufficient calcium for eggshells formation and skeletal growth. The cause of it is the shortage of land snails due to anthropogenic acidification. On a worldwide scale this phenomenon is expected to continue during the next decades.

Our installation is a performative architecture that interacts with the environment on many layers. The blocks constituting the vertical elements are made of Calcium Iodine and seeds of different species. Calcium Iodine - extensively used in aviaries - provides essential minerals to birds aiding skeletal growth and eggshells formation. It will also aid insects and consequently the natural pollination process of the surrounding area. Local species of birds will visit the artwork and start eating the calcium iodine together with the seeds. The seeds are selected essences that contribute to maintaining biodiversity in the regional environment of Wales. Birds and other species will become artwork users together with humans. The seeds inside the block will be eaten and digested by the birds. When birds travel, they disperse them through their droppings, bringing plants back to ecosystems. This seemingly little action would potentially contribute enormously to biodiversity’s growth.

The installation strongly integrates local flora and fauna -including humans- on many layers. The composition of the structure reflects the proximity of these elements juxtaposing structural vertical elements to an organic soft-scape.
Vertical elements shape an open interior. They are composed of a series of twisted blocks  made of calcium iodine and seeds. Joined with a metal structure fixed at the ground level, the blocks shape an enclosure where local species of plants and flowers are arranged to create a multisensorial garden. Our botanist will select the best species for the specific conditions of the site – soil composition, weather condition and season -. Plant pots, that will be partially underground, are essential for the structural stability of the artwork. They will be covered with compacted earth with an underground mesh that stabilizes the floor’s inclination and consumption. On the outside translucent curtains wave in the air attracting visitors inside the environmental installation..


- Related Performances -





Official website Maetherea © 2023. Maetherea is a Private Limited Company registered in England and Wales, Nature of Business (SIC) 71111 - Architectural activities