The Marble Arch Hill, a viewpoint disguised as a hill designed by Dutch studio MVRDV, has been photographed rising alongside Hyde Park in London.
Rising 25 metres tall, the artificial hill is currently under construction alongside Marble Arch near the Oxford Street shopping district in central London.
The viewpoint and visitor attraction was commissioned by Westminster City Council as an attraction to draw people back to Oxford Street following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
When complete, visitors will be able to climb up a staircase built into the artificial hill to see views across central London and down at Marble Arch – the triumphal arch designed by architect John Nash.
The staircase, which can be seen in the construction shots, will lead up the southern face of the hill, with visitors descending into an event space inside the structure.
Recently taken photographs show the scaffolding-pole structure of the hill largely complete.
This structure is in the process of being covered with turf and trees to create the appearance of a natural hill.
According to the studio, the viewpoint's form was designed as a nod to the history of the site, which was once part of the adjacent Hyde Park.
"This project is a wonderful opportunity to give an impulse to a highly recognisable location in London," explained MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas when the project was unveiled in February.
"By adding this landscape element, we make a comment on the urban layout of the Marble Arch, and by looking to the site's history, we make a comment on the area's future," he continued.
"Can this temporary addition help inspire the city to undo the mistakes of the 1960s, and repair that connection?"
The temporary viewpoint is set to open on 26 July and will be in place until January 2022.
It was designed using standard scaffolding poles so that it can be easily dismantled. The soil and plants will be reused in the nearby parks.
Rotterdam-based MVRDV was established in 1991 by Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. In 2016 the studio used scaffolding for the temporary Stairs to Kriterion installation in Rotterdam.
The Marble Arch Hill will resemble MVRDV's unbuilt 2004 Serpentine Pavilion, which would have been built in the nearby park. This year's Counterspace-designed Serpentine Pavilion was recently unveiled.
Architecture studio Laplace and landscape architect Piet Oudolf have transformed and repurposed a collection of historic buildings on Isla del Rey in Menorca into an art centre for the Hauser & Wirth gallery.
Named Hauser & Wirth Menorca, the gallery is located on a small island off the coast of Mahon in the south of Menorca. It is housed within a formerly derelict hospital facility that was built and occupied by the British Navy from the early 1700s.
A two-year conservation project saw the three buildings converted into a 1,500-square-metre cultural hub. The site is complete with eight exhibition spaces, a restaurant, a gallery shop, a sculpture trail and biodiverse gardens.
Laplace explained that the studio looked to preserve the memory of the existing building by highlighting its "scars" and adapting the structure to appear as though it was always there.
"We wanted to celebrate the history of the building and bring value to all its scars," Laplace co-founder Luis Laplace told Dezeen.
"We have to keep the building's integrity and work around the context. We have been working for a long time against the white-cube sort of space."
Long, linear exhibition spaces occupy the two largest buildings. These are adjoined at the centre by a contemporary courtyard that marks the entrance to the galleries.
The studio used traditional materials and techniques throughout the restoration, incorporating local masonry, a terracotta-tiled roof and terrazzo floors that were constructed using locally sourced stone.
The interior of Hauser & Wirth Menorca features original wood beams which were restored and whitewashed, while its walls were not rendered completely smooth but instead reveal the stone masonry beneath.
Large windows punctuate the walls and ceilings of the gallery space, creating a play of shadows on the stone walls.
"I did a lot of research on naval architecture here in Mahon, I looked at how to resolve things from trusses, a window, a door, a gate, to even a bench," Laplace said.
"I didn't want it to be a pastiche – I wanted it to be respectful to the local elements. It was very key to respect the naval history."
Laplace has previously added two new wings to a collection of historic farm buildings in Somerset, England to create another Hauser & Wirth gallery.
This experience helped inform the new project.
"It reminds me of Somerset, where [Laplace] created a courtyard between the old and new building; here, it's the same idea," Laplace co-founder Christophe Comoy told Dezeen.
"[Laplace] created breathing spaces which are key in this type of restoration project, to respect what's existing and also to improve the circulation to adapt it to the needs of today."
As Menorca is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – an area that aims to promote solutions that help safeguard biodiversity – a purpose-built reservoir that collects rainwater from the roof for irrigation across its gardens was added to the building to make it more sustainable.
The gardens and landscape surrounding the cultural hub were designed by Piet Oudolf, who also created the landscaping for Hauser & Wirth Somerset.
His landscape design for Hauser & Wirth Menorca incorporates native plants, such as purple agapanthus amongst other perennials and grasses. It also preserved a collection of existing olive trees at the rear of the site.
A strict geometry sees plant beds organised in regular blocks around squared paved slabs that lead visitors around the centre, taking them between works by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Franz West, Eduardo Chillida and Joan Miró.
Hauser & Wirth Menorca will host temporary exhibitions and artists' residences, alongside a number of community workshops and artist-led programmes that centre on education and sustainability.
Its inaugural exhibition, Masses and Movements by American artist Mark Bradford, sees the contemporary artist lead an art education residency in collaboration with students at l’Escola d’Art de Menorca.
Recently Hauser & Wirth displayed monumental sculptures by Eduardo Chillida at the gallery's Somerset location in the southwest of England.
Piet Oudolf also created an ever-changing garden with winding paths and intimate lawns for Vitra's architecture park in Weil am Rhein, Germany.
Photography is by Daniel Schäfer unless stated otherwise.