Birds have guided humanity, answering our deepest questions through auspicious flight, setting the standards of beauty and grace and providing hope through inspiring song. On Atlantic Road in Brixton, we have sought to honour birds with the consecration of a Bird Shrine, where birds are welcome and can be entreated for their benevolence.
In celebration of Brixton, and how its people continue to advance it as a habitation for all cultures, Squire & Partners is collaborating with local dim sum restaurant Courtesan to create this Bird Shrine, to be shared and enjoyed by the local community and visitors of the London Festival of Architecture – where Brixton features as one of the festival’s 2023 Destinations.
Located outside the Courtesan on Atlantic Road, the 9-metre-long bamboo structure will be used for gathering and events, and is inspired by the Buddhist shrines and bird cages that featured in the Imperial Courts of China, where dim sum originated.
A biophonic birdsong soundscape has been created for the installation by sensory designer Tom Middleton, co-founder of White Mirror – a wellness innovation consultancy that delivers sensory solutions to improve health, wellbeing and productivity. The soundscape has been designed to naturally recalibrate the nervous system into a serene state of tranquillity.
The project seeks to act as a showcase and stimulus for other local businesses to realise Lambeth’s new Kerbside Strategy – which looks at creating sustainable social spaces; enabling accessible and active travel; improving air quality; and reducing carbon emissions – in order to reimagine one of the most important roads in London’s history.