The Hadspen Belvedere is a filigree structure sited on an escarpment to the north of Hadspen House in Somerset. Conceived of as a cage to hold and protect a valuable resource, it extends outwards as it rises from the ground, like the branches of a tree.
The belvedere is constructed of green oak, sourced mostly from within the Hadspen Estate. Rainwater is collected on its cantilevered roof deck and passes through two outlets to be stored in two tanks sited on its first floor. The water is used to irrigate the orchard that sits below the escarpment during dry spells.
The first floor is accessed through a steel stair with open riser and grated treads that that are porous to sunlight and are used for cleaning muddy boots. The upper floor is reached by a stair that brings one to an open room defined by oak boards. Here one can observe the beautiful play of light in the leaves and branches of the ancient beech and other trees that surround the structure. In late Autumn, when the trees have shed their leaves, views open up to distant horizons.