As part of the Sukkahville Design Competition in Toronto, organized by the Kehilla Residential Programme, Craig Deebank and Gina Gallaugher were selected as one of the finalists for his ‘Embryonic Canopy’ exhibition. The project re-images the Sukkah as both a temporary shelter and permanent fixture within the agricultural ecosystem. It challenges the notion of the traditional static Sukkah while creating a sense of wonder, intrigue and connection to the natural environment. More images and designers’ description after the break.
Embryonic Canopy will adapt to its immediate weather elements, adding an ephemeral quality to the Sukkah. Using large, 3′-0″ diameter natural latex helium balloons tethered to a central platform, the lightweight enclosure will sway in the gentle breeze, ascend or descend depending on air pressure and collide with other balloons to create a low, tranquil sound. Inspired by airborne seed dispersal methods and events of Earth Day: Peru, each individual balloon functions as an embryonic capsule as they are filled with small amounts of herb, fruit and vegetable seeds.
A cluster of embryonic capsules form the Embryonic Canopy of the Sukkah. In the event a balloon floats away and/or bursts, the act of falling seeds will populate the ground for the future spring season or provide a meal for local wildlife. Otherwise, the deflated embryonic capsules can be planted for future agricultural growth and harvested for next year’s Sukkot.
A pre-fabricated, circular platform anchors the site. The platform is carved with 8 circular rings via CNC milling that symbolize the cross-section of a typical tree. The carvings will shed water and provide foot traction. In the center of the Sukkah rests a cedar mulch-filled “blob”, which will serve the function of the seating and contemplation area. The aroma of the cedar mulch will be present in the Sukkah experience.
The pavilion requires minimal set up, material and fabrication as the primary enclosure materials are balloons, helium and air. The Sukkah platform can be re-used annually while the rest of the Sukkah is to be used for agricultural purposes. It should be noted that natural latex is fully biodegradable. Embryonic Canopy promotes the environmental benefits of urban farming and growing food locally.