Though it might look like the latest incarnation of the architectural trend for cabins, The Exbury Egg is no floating micro-home retreat. Instead, it is an artist’s studio and an art installation in itself created by Stephen Turner. Conceived as a temporary, energy efficient, self-sustaining work space for the artist in the estuary of the UK’s River Beaulieu, the egg will be home to Tuner for exactly one year, where he will create art inspired by the egg’s immediate marine environment.

“My contribution to the design concept of the structure was its symbolic egg form, that will decay and change during my occupation; turning the egg into a calendar revealing the impact of 365 days of changing weather and tides upon its surface,” says Turner of the project that was instigated by art, architecture and education consultants, Space Placemaking and Urban Design (SPUD Group) and executed by designers PAD Studio.

At the heart of the artistic endeavour is Turner’s concern for environmental issues. “I wanted to investigate the landscape at a key moment when climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats,” he says. “Established salt marsh is being eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux. The implications for wildlife and flora as well as people are challenging and raise awareness of a particularly 21st century sort of tension.”

Constructed from cedar wood by local boat builder Paul Baker with Douglas Fir used for the interior framing, the home is a lesson in efficiency. Says Wendy Perring, the project architect: “We want to test the minimum someone needs to live quite comfortably, and how we can minimise the impact on the environment.”

Keep up to date on Stephen Turner’s art created in The Exbury Egg: