Big Functional Art
The small firepit in the South African game park* was the initial idea, but it needed something more in Spain.
The basic version in *Shamwari was functional but very low key. A dip in the concrete slab with thin shards of local rock cemented in a containment circle, the workers piled chunks of native timber into a cone and fired it up. Wicker chairs were naturally kept at a fair distance until the furnace reduced to a crucible of burning charcoal although it took a while. With little wind protection, the cooler winter air tended to chill your bones which meant a continual shuffling of the chairs closer to the fire, and the rock shards weren't high enough to prevent excess air feeding the fire - it ran out too quickly.
I thought we could build something slightly different in our back yard, and perhaps a bit better given the limitation of the Shamwari pit. The usual process with a holiday idea is to roll it around a little and perhaps add something, or change its colour. The design process really hit the afterburners, and what we created was, well a bit like starting with Sputnik and getting the U.S.S. Enterprise. The result is a multi-purpose recreation area and art-form because the intent was to have a feature on the property that was more than just a dent in the concrete to burn a few logs.
As the video suggests, we have used it quite often as an outdoor cinema and a music sound-shell during the warmer months, and as a firepit in the winter time.