SLO Architecture has built Harvest Dome 3.0, a floating dome project made to celebrate the riparian heritage of Grand Rapids. Made with local materials harvested from the Grand River industry, the 20-foot-diameter orb would be constructed from brightly colored surplus seat-belts and studded with rearview mirrors, set atop a ring of 128 repurposed two-liter soda bottles. The project explores the city’s legacy of manufacturing and a history of production.
The new Harvest Dome builds off of lessons learned from version 2.0, funded by a MCAF grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The original 24-foot diameter cupola was made from over 450 reclaimed umbrellas that would float on 128 empty two-liter soda bottles through the New York City waterways. Its purpose was to reveal a circadian cycle of tides at the northern tip of Manhattan, home to one of the islands last remaining salt marshes.
Now Harvest Dome 3.0 was made to bring attention to the Grand River waterway. While the river's energy propelled Grand Rapids to become a center for logging, furniture fabrication, and automotive industries, the possibility of the river also engendered changes to landscape ecology, leading to flooding and contamination. The transcendent abstract form of Harvest Dome 3.0 emerges from a flotsam of accumulated materials, its bright blue seatbelt lines and sky-and-water-reflecting rearview mirrors shimmering like a bubble coming up from the surging rapids, transfiguring the river's power and possibility.