Move Over, Green Walls: Living Canopy Comes to West Vancouver

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

Imagine walking beneath an illuminated canopy of lush greenery, in the form of inverted pyramids sculpted to perfection. In early August 2014 visitors were welcomed by this succulent living roof to the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Guests were guided through the fairgrounds beneath the 90-foot long canopy, creating an immersive sensory experience befitting the interdisciplinary creative arts festival. Designed by Matthew Soules Architecture and curated by the Museum of West Vancouver, Vermilion Sands was created as a temporary installation for the ten day festival.

Submerge yourself in Vermilion Sands with photos and more info after the break.

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

Traveling beneath an array of large trees and naturally occurring greenery, Vermilion Sands solved numerous problems for the organizers of Harmony Arts Festival. Although the canopy served primarily as a stunning social space, it also provided shelter from the sun. The canopy included an integrated misting system, simultaneously hydrating the living roof while cooling the space below. Each one of the 260 modules was formed of a steel frame sewn into a geotextile fabric coated with a complex cocktail of seeds and fertilizer. The modules were grown offsite in a nursery prior to their installation in West Vancouver's Millennium Park.

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture
Installation of geotextile on modules. Image Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

The project received its name from a series of short stories by English novelist JG Ballard. Vermilion Sands refers to the hybridized nature of contemporary architectural design, illustrating the inseparability of natural and artificial products. Vermilion Sands serves as a physical manifestation of the future described in Ballard's stories - a world populated by the marriage of natural and artificial creations. Find out more about Matthew Soules Architecture here.

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Cite: Finn MacLeod. "Move Over, Green Walls: Living Canopy Comes to West Vancouver" 28 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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