THE BIRD'S NEST
Working with Jochen Zeitz over the three years we collaborated together was one of the most inspiring times of my life. It culminated in building a truly surprising oasis and wilderness retreat in the whistling thorn plains of western Laikipia. The wooden clad villas rest on sculptured stilts with canvas lined interiors surrounded by sculptured art. Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, drystone walls sweep through the property leading you to rooms and installations, all filled with the thought-provoking art that Jochen collects, and is such a big part of the retreat's experience.
The Bird's Nest, inspired by Jochen together with the amazing artist and designer Daniel Pouzet, grew over the phone and emails with his amazing hand drawn sketches, which were sometimes easier to understand than the long broken calls and his strong French accent. The plan was to build a bird's nest, a circular room high up away from danger, but close enough to make your evening there sometimes unbearably exciting. The steel frame on solid foundations allows thick skinned mammals to scratch their backs safely on the legs of the nest, and the roof, over-woven with Leleshwa branches, was made with local communities - bringing together people who have, at times, struggled to find peace amongst themselves, by building something artistic and fun. The best collaborators as we finished the nest were the weaver birds, who saw this as a perfect opportunity to build their own nests in the woven lathe of ours.