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Moss drapes from trees in ethereal photographs

Moss drapes from trees in ethereal photographs of England’s forests by Neil Burnell

 

 

England has long been a haven for rich woodlands of oak, birch, hazel, and pine, chronicled in famous stories like Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest or the real-life 11th century king William the Conqueror, who established a “Forest Law” that claimed woodlands as hunting grounds for kings.

 

In the 19th and 20th centuries, native forests were increasingly transformed into pasture for grazing livestock, replaced with modern developments, or re-planted with commercial timber. The remarkable atmosphere of Dartmoor’s forests are captured by Devon-based photographer Neil Burnell, who focuses on the mystical, otherworldly environments through all four seasons.

 

Burnell was inspired as a child by a visit to Wistman’s Wood, a remote, upland area of old, gnarled oak. “Little was I to know the lasting impression this would leave me with as a young lad, as I find myself re-imagining how I felt, and how I could spread this awe and wonder through my passion for photography,” he explains. Although Dartmoor National Park currently advises that visitors avoid walking through Wistman’s Wood to allow it to heal from damage caused during lockdowns, Burnell’s images offer a glimpse of moss-coated limbs and fern-covered forest floors that seem to freeze time. He also visits dense stands of conifers, with canopies that create dreamlike effects as they block the sunlight from reaching the ground below.

 

Burnell often teaches workshops around Southwest England that focus on nature and landscape photography, which you can learn more about on his website.

 

 

 

Kate Mothes, ThisisColossal. November 2022.

All images © Neil Burnell.

 

Studio Puisto creates lakeside sauna and restaurant in Finland

Studio Puisto creates lakeside sauna and restaurant in Finland

 

 

Black-painted timber forms shelter large terraces overlooking the landscape at the Pistohiekka Resort, which Helsinki-based Studio Puisto has created on the edge of Lake Saimaa in Finland. Nestled in a rocky cove surrounded by trees, the resort comprises two square buildings that house a restaurantand saunas.

 

Studio Puisto has punctured both buildings with an oculus-like void in their centres, designed to “invite the scenery in”.

 

“The starting point for the Pistohiekka sauna-restaurant was the magnificent location, situated between rocky areas in a tranquil cove,” said the architecture studio. “With the different features of the area carefully considered in the placement of the buildings, the result is a concept where two buildings seem to invite the surrounding scenery in,” it continued.

 

Pistohiekka Resort forms part of a wider plan to boost tourism and revive the area in southeastern Finland, which had previously been a popular sauna and leisure spot in the 1980s. Both buildings present blank facades to the northeast where several residential cabins dot the forest but open to face the lake on the west side.

 

Here, they lead out to stepped, rock-lined terraces that are made from wood and provide access to two landing stages for boats. The interiors of both volumes are organised around their terraces. At the restaurant, the terrace is largely uncovered, while the one at the sauna building is more sheltered and private.

 

In the restaurant, the central circular void is lined with glazing to provide diners with views across the lake. Outside, the roof extends to partially cover the deck and is finished with a radial pattern of timber slats on its underside.

 

 

Jon Astbury, Dezeen. October 2022.

Photography by Marc Goodwin.