Model Village

A child on a scooter in front of a giant wooden bird box sculpture on the Redways cycle way in Milton KeynesGiant wooden insect hotel featuring a geometric design on a grassy vergeBrightly coloured wooden bird boxes in trees covered with ivy
Wooden bat boxes installed in tree covered with ivy

'Model Village' was a Milton Keynes outdoor art commission for 'Reclaim the Redways' that aims to encourage interaction with the Redway cycle network and its environment. The project was supported through a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Fund. Cabinet of Curiosity Studio designed and made an art trail for the Redways cycle route that features a series of sustainable nature habitats, inspired by the town's post-modern architecture.

The outdoor art trail between Milton Keynes Art Centre and the Bradwell Windmill includes a cluster of 16 bird boxes, based upon the architect Ralph Erskine’s designs for the Eaglestone Estate; a large sparrow colony bird box, whose design mirrors the futuristic 1970’s Milton Keynes cinema complex known as ‘The Point’; bat boxes based upon a design for a solar house designed by Dominic Michaelis Associates that featured in the 1981 Homeworld Milton Keynes Expo; a series of wooden insect ‘bricks’ that pays homage to the Kiln Farm industrial space designed by Derek Walker and Industry Group; and an insect hotel featuring a geometric design that echoes that of the newly renovated MK Gallery by 6a architects.

The objects were hand fabricated from cedar wood materials with laser cut birch plywood providing the facade details for the Eaglestone bird boxes and the Kiln Farm insect bricks. The colour palette of red, yellow and blue and the rigid geometric forms recalls the design influence of the De Stijl art movement on the architecture and design of Milton Keynes. Natural wood stains were used to colour the wood materials to avoid discouraging wildlife from using these architectural habitats.

Image credits

MODEL VILLAGE, 2022, Cabinet of Curiosity Studio, outdoor art commission

Photos: Chris Henley


Milton Keynes, UK
May 2021-March 2022