The second and third permanent commissions to be realised for the North West Cambridge Development are Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt's Fata Morgana Teahouse, a pavilion that invites audiences to enter to experience the Western Edge landscape through a mediated view and Pixel Wall, a curved wall with a pixelated mirrored surface through which our perception of the landscape is refracted and dissected.
The artists worked with master planners AECOM in the early stages of the design of the Western Edge, developing an underpinning narrative for the landscape of the 'wanderer', someone who journeys without destination or purpose instead focused on their perception and experience of their surroundings; the view, sounds and scents.
Set within the context of the NWCD's major landscaped green space, the Fata Morgana Teahouse has been specifically located to maximise vistas and enhance people's perceptions of and interest in the landscape. It is constructed from polished stainless steel mesh, physically worked by the artists to form a fluid organic form. Its polished surfaces will respond to the different light conditions, sometimes reflective, sometimes almost invisible.
The Pixel Wall gently curves around the landscape just a stone's throw from the Fata Morgana Teahouse, providing a dazzling reflection of the surroundings. The mirrored surface causes it to appear and disappear in the shifting light, reflecting the landscape and being absorbed into it while the pixelated design allows us to see it from a new perspective.
These two artworks provide a strong visual addition to the changing landscape of Eddington and play a fundamental role in defining a bold identity for the development, contributing to the creation of a new urban community at this early stage.