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Iron Reef

by Maetherea Cristina Morbi + Aurora Destro

Iron Reef celebrates the historical and ecological heritage of Reedham Ferry inn and the Norfolk landscape: it’s a homage to its Chalk Reef and the industrial and nautical heritage of Reedham Ferry Inn.

Iron reef is inspired by the anthropized amphibious landscape. As an Amphibious structure, it can live on both earth and water. Shaped by the winter tides and emerging as a landmark between the reeds, it connects the sky and touches the water. 

People are invited to follow the light metallic structures, which rhythm the gentle ramp and lead to a raised point of view of the landscape surrounding. The lower promenade acts as a pier, reconnecting the community with the water.

The tides from the river modify the material, adding patina and oxidation as a performance of colour or a maritime ruin. Plants and microorganisms start to appear on the structure. The Iron Reef is planted with particular amphibious plants, oxygenating plants to improve the unique micro-habitat and biodiversity and multi-species.

Plants climb the structure through time: Hydrocotyle leucocephala is a creeping amphibious plant that can grow submerged or emerge from the water. Below the water level, its leaves are dark green, large and fleshy, while the emerged ones are smaller and light green.

Thanks to the symbiosis that is created between the chosen aquatic plants and the bacteria that live in the roots, the watercourse is purified of polluting elements. Plants offer a multisensorial and seasonal experience of the surrounding: the Acorus Calamus, for example, is characterized by leaves that release an intense lemon scent, is an aromatic plant used in herbal medicine and in many recipes.

Our hope is for the Iron Reef to be a community and an environmental machine: changing through time, shaped by water, plants, animals and humans.


Maetherea Cristina Morbi, Aurora Destro

‘Places are poetic. They grow and change, influenced and inspired by the people that pass through them.

Because of this, our works are interactive. They are made to approach, touch, sit and engage with.

Actions change our sculptures, trigging light, sounds, echos. Rain, Wind, Sunlight, and unpredictable interactions create a new landscape of interactive responses.

In this way, we make the work, but they are completed by the human community and natural agents they come into contact with.

This creates a symbiosis between art and its environment.’

Maetherea {Matter+Ethereal} is an multidisciplinary creative practice guided by artistic duo Cristina Morbi and Aurora Destro. Working internationally on Environmental Design and Public Art, it aims to create sustainable landscape design and public art. Our work couple renewable resources with technology to create spaces that changes through time, unifying performances of the matter with natural and artificial phenomena.

We create Time-Based Iconic Design and Art installation working on the interaction between human and nature, continuously evolving in new scenarios.

We believe urban spaces and public art is not a sequence of objects, but rather a choreography of performances, jointing the sculptural perception to experiential design. In this way, we focus on the narrative: the story behind a place and finding a new and creative way to celebrate this.

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