"The Minotaur," a maze for Kielder Castle Park, Northumberland, UK. This project won a RIBA award ’04, Creative North East award ’03, RSA award ’01.
The Kielder Partnership invited Shona Kitchen and Nick Coombe to re-invent the concept of the maze, looking from new directions at the underlying ideas that can be embodied in such structures. The maze measures about 22m X 18m and is constructed from gabions (steel wire cages) filled in the main with the dark local Whinstone and in the central chamber with irregular lumps of turquoise glass backlit by fibre-optic light sources. On the way round the labyrinth, there are slits in the walls, 26 of them, through which you can see and hear others worming their stringless way through this gloriously physical and computerless game.
"A handsome architectural sculpture, it is also a giant game for anyone to play, free of charge, at any time of any day of the year. Built of basalt stones that turn from shining silver grey in the dry to gleaming near black in the wet, caged in thick steel-wire mesh, the Minotaur labyrinth is a perfect match for its forest setting." -- Jonathan Glancey, July 2003.
Shona Kitchen and Nick Coombe. Photographs by James Morris.