Nissen Hut at Dalby Forest

Nissen Hut by Rachel Whiteread, 2018

Nissen Hut is Whiteread's first permanent public sculpture in the UK. The work has been commissioned to mark the centenary of the Forestry Commission in 2019, and is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Nissen Hut is a concrete cast of the interior space of a Nissen hut, the distinctive military structure invented by Major Peter Nissen during the First World War. These prefabricated steel structures were easily erected and had a variety of uses, including as workshops, field hospitals, housing, and even churches.

Nissen huts were used to house labourers on Forestry Commission land after the organisation was established in 1919, to replenish the nation's timber reserves which were almost entirely depleted following the war effort. In Dalby itself, the structures were used in the forest’s 1930s work camp which offered much needed local employment and skills training to support the mass tree planting.

The work is part of Whiteread’s ongoing Shy Sculpture series, the aim of which is to cast and site unassuming buildings in the landscape.

Location and Visitor Information

How to get to the Nissen Hut

Adderstone is approx. 5 miles in to the forest from the visitor centre. There is a small disabled car park on the left hand side signposted Adderstone. From here you can cross the road to join the circular route to Nissen Hut (the route is approx. 1km long).

Artist Biography

Dame Rachel Whiteread DBE is considered one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists.  Whiteread uses industrial materials to cast everyday objects and architectural space - her sculptures range from the intimate to the monumental.

Born in London in 1963, Whiteread was the first woman to win the Turner Prize in 1993, the same year she made House, a life-sized cast of the interior of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End, which existed for a few months before it was controversially demolished.

Whiteread has been awarded impressive awards for her prolific career; she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019 for services to art. Her works can be found in the permanent collections of influential museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery and many others.


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Useful Information

Dalby Forest, Dalby Forest Visitors Centre, Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Pickering, YO18 7LT
Open every day, the sculpture is outdoors, accessed via a wheelchair accessible footpath.
Adderstone (disability accessible) or Nissen Hut car park
Nearest trail: Nissen Hut Trail or Adderstone Rigg Trail.
Art Map reference : Number 7