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The Best Structures of Burning Man 2015

It has been a week since the conclusion of this year's Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, and images of its most imaginative structures are still surfacing. Even Bjarke Ingels has published a few of his favorite findings from the week-long event. Read on to see of the best structures and installations found at Burning Man 2015. 

Nikolay Polissky Unveils His Latest Wood Installation in Russia

Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has completed yet another of his impressive, handcrafted installations. Located in Zvizzhi Village, in the Ugra National Park in Russia, Polissky’s newest creation—called SELPO, which stands for The Rural Consumer Association, in Russian—wraps around an abandoned soviet building, which used to house the village shop.

The project utilizes off-cut materials from Polissky’s previous work, which has ranged “from temporary pieces of landscape proportions, collectively created […] to public art works in city parks or sculpture parks […] in Europe and in Russia, as well as museum installations.”

© Alexey Naroditskiy © Kozhohin © Alexey Naroditskiy © Alexey Naroditskiy

Zaha Hadid Unveils High Line Installation

With the construction of their High Line-adjacent residential building 520 West 28th Street, Zaha Hadid Architects have constructed a temporary construction shelter to protect pedestrians in the event of any falling construction materials. However, as is often the case with Zaha Hadid designs, this is a construction shelter unlike any other, serving as a protective shelter but also as an artistic installation.

Named Allongé, the installation is "is inspired by the connectivity and dynamism of movement along the High Line," allowing visitors to the High Line to move through 34 meters (112 feet) of sweeping metallic fabric supported by a curvilinear steel frame, offering a spatial experience that foreshadows the presence of Hadid's building at the site.

RIBA Presents Regent Street Windows Project

The RIBA Regent Street Windows Project pairs exceptional architects with flagship retailers to create architectural installations in the windows of fashion retailers, skincare boutiques, perfumeries, restaurants and cafes along and around Regent Street, London. Now in its sixth year, the project has been developed in partnership with the Regent Street Association, and creates a vast public architecture exhibition seen by more than one million people each week. Open for three weeks in September, it ties into the city-wide London Design Festival and the internationally renowned London Fashion Week.

2015 Design Biennial Boston

The 2015 Design Biennial Boston, now in its 4th edition, is a program that foregrounds emerging architects, landscape architects, and designers who have created inspiring and innovative practices in Massachusetts. Following an open call for entries, four firms—Cristina Parreño Architecture, GLD, Landing Studio, and MASS Design Group—were selected in March 2015 by a jury of distinguished professionals and academics. In the months since, the firms have been preparing installations that are on view on the Rose Kennedy Greenway through September 25.

TU/e Students Design Stage for Extrema Outdoor Music Festival

Under the guidance of three teachers, four students from the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have designed and built a stage, “Ensuite,” for the 20th Extrema Outdoor, a music festival in Aquabest, Netherlands.

The structure is composed of 600 pallets, creating a stage that embraces visitors and provides an intimate environment within the crowded festival. By placing the DJ booth in the center of the structure, the stage is made tactile and experiential for visitors.

© Mattia Inselvini © Willeke Machiels © Mattia Inselvini © Mattia Inselvini

Syracuse University Creates “Trans(inter)ference” Installation for Festival des Architectures Vives

For the 10th Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier, Syracuse University commissioned a team to design an installation in the courtyard of Hôtel Audessan. The project, “Trans(inter)ference,” was a 3D drawing designed and constructed by Maya Alam and Daniele Profeta, with the help of three Syracuse University students.

Focusing on the in-between of architecture, the project favors the space between idea and resolution, "between old and new." The installation was developed by projecting the facades of Hôtel Audessan through one another, creating a labyrinth of layered views.

Courtesy of Daniele Profeta and Maya Alam Courtesy of Daniele Profeta and Maya Alam Courtesy of Daniele Profeta and Maya Alam Courtesy of Daniele Profeta and Maya Alam

Video: The Wings / Studio Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind teamed up with the professionals at Immersive and Innovision to realize the four 10-meter-high, "shimmering" sculptures that are outlining the Milan Expo 2015's central square. The LED-lit aluminium structures, dubbed "the Wings," were designed to "animate the public space with a constant flow of pulsating patterns and imagery related to the theme of the Expo: health, energy, sustainability and technology." They will remain on view through the duration of the Expo, which concludes October 31.

FAKT Creates a Floating Metal “Cloudscape” in Montpellier

FAKT, an up-and-coming studio based out of Berlin and Zurich, has created an architectural installation for the Festival des Architectures Vives, which uses perforated aluminum sheets to produce a cloudscape. Sponsored by metalworking companies Karl Dieringer and AMAG Austria Metall, the exhibition explores aluminum's material properties and its ability to create new forms.

Cloudscape Surface Contours. Image © Giulio Boem An Interior View of the Exhibition. Image © Giulio Boem Visitors Looking inside Cloudscape. Image © Giulio Boem Top of Cloudscape. Image © Giulio Boem

Nikolay Polissky Creates Towering, Handcrafted Structures Across Russia

Born in 1957 in Moscow, artist Nikolay Polissky creates impressive, handcrafted structures in the middle of Russia's vast landscapes. Mostly carried out in the town of Nikola Lenivets -- located 200 km from the Russian capital --  his works are built entirely by the area's residents, using local materials, such as branches, trunks and wooden tables. Traditional construction techniques are used as a starting point for the projects. 

His work is inspiring not only because of its imposing form, but also because he managed to re-activate a semi-abandoned village through art and architecture, involving residents in the creative process and transforming the region into a sort of open cultural center. Since 2003, his work has been part of Archstoyanie, the largest Land-Art festival in Russia.

Gates of Perm (2011). Image © Tima Radya Hyperboloid / Volcano (2009). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Lighthouse (2004). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky Media tower (2002). Image Courtesy of Nikolay Polissky

Snarkitecture Turns National Building Museum into Massive Ball-Pit

Now through September 7, you can take a "swim" in a massive "BEACH" that has taken over the National Building Museum's Great Hall. Spanning 10,000-square-feet, the BEACH was created in partnership with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture to offer the people of Washington D.C. a one-of-a-kind installation as part of the NBM's "Summer Block Party."

The "ocean" is essentially a ball-pit comprised of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. It is contained within a mirrored, all-white enclosure flanked by a 50-foot-wide "shoreline" that offers visitors the option to wade the  "water" or sit back and relax. 

© Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina © Noah Kalina

Alban Guého Creates "Flood" Installation for Paris' Nuit Blanche 2015

Architect Alban Guého's “Flood” installation for Paris' 2015 Nuit Blanche arts festival aims to serve as a stark reminder of climate change and the impact humanity has on the world. The 50-square-meter (538 square-foot) installation is composed of weaved filaments that connect the ceiling to the floor. A thick, dark liquid (either oil or black paint) will slowly flow down each string, trickling into a black pool. Flood seeks to address the theme of this year’s Nuit Blanche, which is to echo the issues stemming from COP21, Paris’ Sustainable Innovation Forum.

Detail of Trickling Filament. Image Courtesy of Alban Guého Vector Projection of Flood. Image Courtesy of Alban Guého Parallel Filament. Image Courtesy of Alban Guého Axonometric View of Flood. Image Courtesy of Alban Guého

Sung Jang Creates Modular Pieces for “This is Not a Duet” Exhibit in New York

Currently on display at the Chamber in New York, Sung Jang’s “Mobi” is the investigation of transforming a modular, buttress-like element into “the human perception of beauty.” Mobi is part of Chamber’s latest exhibit, “This is Not a Duet,” curated by Maria Cristina Didero and Juan Garcia Mosqueda, and which showcases the oppositional work of two artists. Sung's Mobi is complimented by Gala Fernandez Montero's “Caro Ettore.”

Atelier YokYok Designs an Enchanting String Installation in Cahors

Atelier YokYok has created an immersive experience of string and light for their "Shooting Vaults” installation at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Cahors, France. Created in collaboration with Ulysse Lacoste and Laure Qaremy, the project will be on display through the month of June.

In the Center of the Volume. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Installation in Cloister. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Centroid of Courtyard. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste Visitor within Installation. Image Courtesy of Atelier YokYok + Ulysse Lacoste

Toronto’s Design Exchange Unveils Its Latest Exhibition: “3DXL”

Despite being at the forefront of digital fabrication technology, 3D printing is still shrouded in mystery, something which the Design Exchange (DX) hopes to change with its most recent exhibition, “3DXL” in Toronto. Curated by the director of DX, Sara Nickleson, 3DXL brings together 3D printing projects from across fields, including work from medicine, design and architecture. As the name suggests, the exhibit presents 3D printing on a scale not normally observed by the public. In particular, the exhibit addresses the role 3D printing will play in the future of architecture, and how it may begin to replace more traditional architectural construction.

Gallery: Assemble's Brutalist Playground Opens at RIBA

An exploration of "post-war design for play," The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill has opened to the public at RIBA's Architecture Gallery. The immersive installation draws on a number of historic London estates - Churchill Gardens, Pimlico; the Brunel Estate, Paddington and the Brownfield Estate in Poplar - where playgrounds were once made from concrete and cast into sculptural forms to offer children an abstract landscape for play. Now deemed unsafe, these playgrounds no longer exist. Thus, The Brutalist Playground was envisaged to explore play, "the Brutalist way." 

Images of the complete installation, after the break.

© Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA


  • Architects: FAHR 012.3
  • Location: Porto, Portugal
  • Photographs: Courtesy of FAHR 021.3

Courtesy of FAHR 021.3 Courtesy of FAHR 021.3 Courtesy of FAHR 021.3 Courtesy of FAHR 021.3

The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats

Brooklyn design studio The Principals have completed the Dynamic Sanctuary, an interactive installation at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, during the 2015 NYCxDESIGN festival. Commissioned by Ford Motors, the light-based installation detects and pulses with the biorhythms of its visitors, creating a dynamic space in both name and nature.

The modular installation was manually constructed by The Principals in their Brooklyn studio. Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.  

© Pippa Drummond © Mike Vorrasi © Pippa Drummond © Pippa Drummond