MOL

UK-This giant floating egg on the River Beaulieu could well be Hampshire’s quirkiest living space. It may look like it comes straight from the set of a low-budget science fiction movie, but the giant wooden pod cost £40,000 to build and will in fact be the home and workspace of artist Stephen Turner, 58, for the next year.

The 40ft self-sustaining structure, which is registered as a boat, floats up and down with the tide and is designed to have minimal environmental impact. Stephen hopes to highlight climate change while living there.

Turner will spend 12 months experiencing nature while staying on board and working in the Exbury Egg. It features in the second series of Channel 4 documentary George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, which premiered on Thursday. Architect Wendy Perring and project manager Phil Smith faced the task of translating Turner’s values into the practical space. They showed architect and presenter George Clarke the miniature plastic prototype, demonstrating how the two halves are joined together. A door reveals an open-plan living space with kitchen and desk area.

Each half of the egg is made of two wooden skins with a membrane in between to make it watertight. It is wider at rear allowing room for two storage cupboards either side, and a very simple bathroom. It took boat builder Paul Baker six months to build the space. He used 8km of cedar to complete it and says trying to get wood to bend round a sphere template was difficult. 

Every one of the hundreds of planks was fitted by hand. After the first layer was complete, Baker added waterproof Epoxy Glass matting before adding the second layer of wood.