The annual Burning Man festival, where architects from around the world get creative in the Desert of Nevada, has officially started. The burners have begun heading towards Black Rock City. This year’s theme revolves around the notion of “Metamorphosis”, unleashing the creativity of the artists and putting in place exceptional installations and pavilions.
Nevada: The Latest Architecture and News
This year’s theme for the famous annual Burning Man festival revolves around the notion of “Metamorphosis”. Taking place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, from the 25th of August till the 2nd of September, each year artists and architects from around the world get creative and imagine installations and pavilions responding to one general question.
For the 2019 edition, Burning Man has already revealed the design for the Central Temple by Geordie Van Der Bosch. Read on to discover more about 2 interventions, taking part in this year's event, an Ornamental Shade from San Francisco and a Desert Sauna from Finland.
Burning Man has revealed the design for the central 2019 Temple for Black Rock City by Geordie Van Der Bosch. Featuring a design inspired by the Torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Japan, the Temple submission was chosen for its elegant simplicity. Dubbed The Temple of Direction, the design consists of wooden archways that form a linear passageway to a large central hall.
In a world increasingly obsessed with the potential of Blockchain (the decentralized technology behind Bitcoin), lawyer and cryptocurrency millionaire Jeffrey Berns has purchased an enormous 67,000-acre plot of the Nevada desert near Reno envisioned as an “experimental community” revolving around the technology.
His company, Blockchains LLC, has worked in collaboration with Tom Wiscombe Architecture and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (EYRC) to design “Innovation Park” which will be “developed into a smart city with decentralized Blockchain underlying all infrastructure.”
Bjarke Ingels Group has built an 80-foot-diameter ORB at the 2018 Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. The ORB was designed as an inflated spherical mirror with a steel mast. A series of photos have captured the ORB from both Burning Man festival goers and BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann. As a landmark in The Playa, the ORB conceptually references mother earth and human expression, designed to leave no trace following its deflation.
Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk has launched an Indiegogo campaign for his 107,000-square-foot (10,000-square-meter) blanket woven from over 3000 NASA Space blankets, to feature at this year’s Burning Man festival at Black Rock City, Nevada.
“The Blanket” seeks to “bring the waves of the ancient Lake Lahontan back to Playa,” influenced by wind conditions to mirror surreal forms such as waves, mountains, or giant sculptures. With an exterior metallic coating, the blanket will reflect 97% of radiated heat, creating a cool, refreshing environment underneath for those seeking shelter from the hot Playa sun.
Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange have launched an Indiegogo fundraiser for an 80-foot-diameter ORB to be constructed for the 2018 Burning Man festival at Black Rock City, Nevada. Scaled at 1/500,000th of the earth’s surface, the reflective sphere sits “at the axis of art & utility, capturing the entire Black Rock City in an airborne temporal monument that mirrors the Burning Man experience to the Burners as single beings in the midst of an intentional community."
As well as acting as a wayfinder for navigating The Playa, the ORB sits as a tribute to mother earth and human expression, designed to blend with its surroundings during the night, and leave no trace following its deflation.
Every year in August, a temporary metropolis is erected in Black Rock City, Nevada. This is Burning Man, an annual event of art and architecture that attracts some 70,000 participants. The people who come to Burning Man come from all walks of life. What is incredible is that they come together to construct an ephemeral city that lasts for 7 days. These people assume the role of architects and construction workers and use the desert to build all sorts of shelters in a fast, sustainable way. The desert is so remote, and everything built in Black Rock City is packed and taken home at the end of the event, and some of the art is burned on site. This poses a unique architectural challenge. The people who have come to build these structures have to plan them way in advance to accommodate all the challenges of working in the desert, but the result is worth it - a striking, unique city, democratically built, set against a desert landscape, and for only one week.
We had the chance to interview Kim Cook at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. Kim Cook is Director of Art and Civic Engagement at Burning Man. Kim Cook and her team are tasked with increasing the impact of Burning Man’s arts and civic initiatives. As part of her role, Kim engages with artists and community leaders to increase opportunities for funding, collaboration and learning.
Designed using 3D parametric software, the pavilion is formed from 20 timber trusses that spiral in toward a central point the reaches toward the sky. Starting on the ground, the triangular trusses span large enough distances to create a series of spiraling paths toward the center of the structure, where a giant 3D-printed mandala will be displayed. The spaces in between the truss members will also be large enough to serve as alcoves.
The week of Burning Man 2017 is halfway through, and glimpses of the event are starting to make their rounds through the social mediasphere. Under the theme of “Radical Ritual,” this year features as many impressive structures and sculptures as ever, including a central temple holding the wooden man built to commemorate the Golden Spike, the ceremonial final spike driven to join the rails of the United States’ first transcontinental railroad.
Check out our favorite structures from the event, below.
Hyperloop One has revealed images of its full-scale test track, called the DevLoop, for the first time as it prepares for its first public trial later this year. The 500-meter-long (1,640 feet) DevLoop is located in the flat terrain of the Nevada desert, just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. In its final form, the track will extend two miles between launching and receiving points.
Hyperloop Technologies is starting to realize its high-speed transit system. As Tech.Mic reports, pipes for the project's first test tube are showing up in Nevada. Hyperloop was first outlined by Elon Musk in 2013 as a response to California's pricey bullet train plan that aim to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ultra-fast, energy efficient Hyperloop proposes to send pods of people through a depressurized tube at speeds up to 700 miles-per-hour. It is believed that the new system could be running as soon as 2020.
Three students from Diploma Studio 10 (DS10) at the University of Westminster have received grants to see their designs realized at this year’s Burning Man festival. The projects - The Infinity Tree, Reflection, and Bismuth Bivouac - are temporary pavilions that will provide respite for festival-goers, each with a unique experiential quality to captivate the masses.
Drawing upon the 2015 Burning Man theme "Carnival of Mirrors," the three pavilions will explore the illusory and enchanting qualities of old-fashioned carnival culture while serving as functional spaces of rest and shelter from the Black Rock Desert sun. These and other installations will make up a “temporary metropolis” from August 30 to September 7.
More on the designs and their Kickstarter campaign, after the break.
Las Vegas vs The Landscape: Photographer Michael Light Exposes the Terraforming of the American Dream
“Nestled into the desert landscape that defines Nevada’s visage,
Ascaya feels as if it were shaped by the elements.
Where stone rises up to meet the sky, there is a place called Ascaya.”
- The Ascaya promotional website
Not quite, according to Michael Light’s soon-to-be released book, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain. Covering the advance of suburban Nevada into the desert, this two-part book looks at Lake Las Vegas, a then-abandoned victim of the 2008 real estate crash which has since emerged from the other side of bankruptcy, and nearby Ascaya, a high end housing estate that is still in the process of being carved into Black Mountain. Light’s photography doesn’t so much question the developers’ summary as it does, say, blast it, scar it, terrace it and then build a large housing development on the remains. Featuring beautifully composed aerial shots of the construction sites and golf courses covering the desert, the book is a clear condemnation of the destructive and unsustainable development in Nevada. Much more than that, though, Light is highlighting a wider philosophy behind developments like Ascaya and Lake Las Vegas that fundamentally fail to connect American society with the American landscape in a non-destructive way.
Vincent Laforet is at it again, this time photographing Nevada’s Sin City from an elevation of 10,800 feet (8,799 feet above the city). Part two of Laforet’s dizzying series of city aerials, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was drawn to desert city of Las Vegas because of its “island” effect.
“Just like the island of Manhattan that started this series, Vegas is an "Island of Light" in the middle of nothingness… A sea of black with an amazing source of light emanating from Vegas and its infamous strip… You can almost see the electricity running through it.”
A collection of "Sin City" images, after the break.
A court approved ruling has sealed the fate of Foster + Partners’ half-built Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. Unfinished due to structural defects, the 27-story glass tower was once envisioned to be the staple of the $8.5 billion CityCenter entertainment complex. However, since problems arose in 2008, the stunted hotel and casino has instead served as a glorified billboard.
Though it has yet to be determined who will be blamed for the faulty construction, owner MGM Resorts International has been granted permission to dismantle the blue glass building floor-by-floor at a cost of $11.5 million.
Text description provided by the architects. Placing second overall, just a few points behind the winning 2013 Solar Decathlon team, students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (Team Las Vegas) have won the “Market Appeal” contest at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) sixth solar-home competition. Known as “DesertSol”, the project was lauded for its “livability, marketability and constructability” as well as its “appeal within the housing market of the target client chosen by team.” It is designed to be a self-reliant, energy-efficient second home for upper-middle income Americans who pursue active lifestyles in the sparsely populated Mojave Desert. Read on for the team’s project description.