Burning Man 2015 (2015)

Client: Westminster School of Architecture
Architect: Westminster School of Architecture
Location: Black Rock, Nevada, United States

Date: 2015-08-01 00:00:00 +0000
Tags: United States, art, timber, cantilever

The Bismuth Bivouac structure at Burning Man 2015 continues our long-standing relationship with the University of Westminster School of Architecture and their mission to push boundaries in the practical application of digital design.

The installation takes the form of a timber hypercube made up of parallel lapped plain sawn timbers. Out of the hypercube grow extrusions that mimic the shapes taken by the crystal growth of Bismuth (Bi).

The simple shape belies some complex engineering and creative thought in how to achieve seamless lapped connections throughout the structure and to give it enough strength to resit 72mph winds and the weight of a hundred Burners climbing on it. The cantilevering bismuth growths were a particular challenge because of the limited connection area. We provided full structural engineering services to the staff and students working in a collaboration Rhino/Grasshopper and Karamba digital environment.