The Bield (meaning shelter or protection) exists as a place of refuge: whether one wants to escape city life for a while, or to escape a heavy downpour whilst out walking. It is located on Quiet Route 60 of Edinburgh’s cycling network, once part of the Loanhead and Roslin Railway. Supported by an exhilarating remnant of Bilston Viaduct, the folded structure is only fully revealed from below the high level path, cascading into the wooded ravine.
The Bield is split into three main zones - the Refuge for Hikers, Runners and Cyclists, the Writers’ Retreat and the Bothy for sleeping out in the woodland. As visitors make their way through the structure, a constantly changing woodland vista is revealed. The interiors have been designed to maximise comfort. All furniture is integral to the interior, conveying a feeling of being warmly embraced by the building. Suspended in the tree canopy, visitors can explore this terrain from a new vantage point and can hide underneath it. The Bield occupies the middle space - the unmapped area, just off the beaten track. It is the perfect place to hide. The Bield is a place where one can dive off the edge of a world of asphalt and steel into the soft, warm embrace of timber. Nestled within the canopy, it is an exploration into what it is to truly detach from the world.
A LIDAR DSM (Digital Surface Model) maps out everything found on the surface of a selected terrain - including trees, cars and houses. This accurate map of the woodland surrounding the Bield set the limits for spatial explorations into the canopy.
A LIDAR DTM (Digital Terrain Model) maps out only the terrain itself, ignoring all surface objects.
The Bield inhabits the space between these surfaces - the unmapped area, hidden just out of view.