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Meet the man who lives - and works - in an egg: Giant floating wooden pod is artist's studio and home

British artist Stephen Turner, 58, will live and work inside £40,000 40ft Exmoor Egg for a year
Structure took six months to build and features in George Clarke's Amazing Spaces on Channel 4
Stephen hopes to highlight climate change, study local wildlife and host Q&A sessions there

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.
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Turner will spend 12 months experiencing nature while staying on board and working in the Exmoor Egg. It features in the second series of Channel 4 documentary George Clarke's Amazing Spaces, which premiered on Thursday.
'My artwork is very much about nature and natural processes and the relationship we have with nature,' says Turner.

Architect Wendy Perring and project manager Phil Smith faced the task of translating Turner's values into the practical space. They showed presenter 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. Baker says in terms of boat building there's 'difficult, very difficult, and then the Egg'.

Stephen Turner’s work often involves spending long periods in odd abandoned places, noting changes in the complex relationship between human-made and natural environments. His latest project will enable him to have a space to live in whilst he studies the life of the creek.
His latest venture is part of a project to explore the nature of the landscape and the meaning of place, amidst environmental changes. He is sharing his work on a blog and with local schoolchildren and once he has finished his residency, his work will go on display.

 Stephen Turner (l) hired boat builder Paul Baker (r) to construct his living space - a feat Baker describes as 'very difficult'

The Exbury Egg has been funded by the Arts Council and private sponsors.
He approached Phil Smith from SPUD (Space, Place-making and Urban Design) who gathered a team of architects and engineers to design the structure.
Smith has said he may eventually tour the egg to places like the Tate Modern, and is potentially interested in using it for other functions after Stephen Turner's tenancy there ends in June 2014.
George Clarke's Amazing Spaces is on Channel 4, Thursdays at 8pm. You can also watch the first episode on 4od.

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