Vermilion Sands / Matthew Soules Architecture

Hanging green pyramid.

Project Specs

Location:

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Appreciation towards Matthew Soules Architecture   for providing the following description:

加拿大短暂而美丽的夏天里,Matthew Soules建筑事务所在温哥华博物馆门前安装起一个临时的植物装置构架,同时探讨人工与自然的关系。这个构架是一个长条形的开放棚架,棚顶上有260个植草模块,模块上生长的草是白三叶草以及多年生黑麦草。实现的方式为:将种子混合水、木浆、粘合剂(瓜尔豆胶–生物可降解的粘合剂)、特定的种子培养浆;然后喷在绷着10号细线做得铁丝网+能够有利于植物生长的土工布的金字塔形植草模块上,一半喷白三叶草,一半喷黑麦草。然后放置30天,进行浇水和施肥,让其生长,最后再将这些模块吊装起来,安置在草坪上,在炎炎夏日中为人们提供荫凉。配套的喷雾器系统在滋润与灌溉植物的同时,也降低小片区的问题,并与LED灯光结合,形成朦胧的梦幻效果。

至于为什么叫“Vermilion Sands”,乃是建筑师参考1971年出版的 JG Ballard所著短片小说集,这本科幻小说集中的每一个故事都某个自然与技术杂交的超现实物质上,比如会唱歌的植物和能够被雕塑的云朵。在科幻小说的那个世界里,人们都解开了”自然”的奥秘并具有运用他们的能力。在未来,社会,美学,技术,自然的交叉点具有无限潜力。

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Vermilion Sands, designed by Matthew Soules Architecture (MSA), is a temporary canopy structure that shapes living plants into a three-dimensional pattern and explores the relationship between the natural and the artificial.

The canopy is comprised of 260 custom-fabricated modules, each hydro-seeded with either white clover or perennial grass, that were grown in a nursery, and then suspended from a fine grid of aircraft cable. Pursuing this unprecedented methodology, the result is an axial roof structure that is abstract and pure while also being heterogeneous and biotic.

Constructed for the Harmony Arts Festival, under the curatorship of the Museum of West Vancouver, the canopy provides both a loggia-like entry to the festival grounds and shade from the summer sun. An integrated misting system hydrates plant-life while enhancing cooling, and in combination with LEDs positioned on each perimeter column, produced a gauzy, dream-like atmosphere.

Each pyramid-shaped module is made from a steel wire frame upon which a geotextile fabric is sewn. The modules are then hydro-seeded, a process in which a slurry mixture of wood pulp, guar gum (a biodegradable adhesive), and seeds is sprayed onto the geotextile. The subsequent growth results in a rich and varied surface that transforms over the life of the installation. The canopy is strategically threaded through a stand of trees on the site. This position achieves diverse environmental conditions across the length of the canopy – with some areas more exposed than others. This range in conditions is registered in the different ways that the plants respond, with some areas growing more than others, allowing an emergent and context-specific result.

The project derives its name from the title of a 1971 collection of short stories by JG Ballard. In this collection of sci-fi tales, each story focuses on a particular design or artistic medium in which nature is hybridized with technology to produce surreal and baroque results – for example, singing plants, living fashion, and cloud sculptures. Within the context of the Anthropocene we currently inhabit, where the ability to disentangle the ‘natural’ from the ‘artificial’ is fleeting; it appears that the aesthetics and sociality of the future will be increasingly populated with the splendorous designs in Ballard’s prescience texts.

It is our fantasy that Vermilion Sands the canopy could be a character within Vermilion Sands the book.

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实现的方式为:将种子混合水、木浆、粘合剂(瓜尔豆胶–生物可降解的粘合剂)、特定的种子培养浆;然后喷在绷着10号细线做得铁丝网+能够有利于植物生长的土工布的金字塔形植草模块上,一半喷白三叶草,一半喷黑麦草。然后放置30天,进行浇水和施肥,让其生长,

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Fabrication Process

Frame
Step one in the fabrication process is creating the wire frame. A wire fabricator produced 260 truncated pyramid-shaped frames from 10 gauge steel wire. The frames are split 50/50 between a large and a small size. This variation is a critical component in establishing the dynamic pattern
of the canopy.

Sew
Step two is sewing a geotextile fabric to the frames. The fabric is specially designed with a weave and thickness to enmesh with an applied growing medium. Typically this material is used to help stabilize steep slopes in which plant growth is desired. This engineered characteristic proved suitable for the slope of the module faces.

Spray
Step three is the hydro-seeding process. A mobile tank is towed to the spraying yard and contains a slurry mixture of water, wood pulp, guar gum, and selected seeds. Prior to the final hydro-seeding, a series of prototypes tested the viability of different seed types. From these tests, white clover and perennial ryegrass were selected for use on the modules. Half were sprayed with clover and half with ryegrass.

Grow
The final stage before on-site installation is the growing period. We were lucky to find an under-used municipal nursery in which the modules could grow for 30 days prior to installation. During this period intensive management was required to control watering and shade in relation to changing weather conditions. In addition to watering, the modules were periodically fed fertilizer.

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Design & Production Data

Canopy Dimensions
20’(W) x 90’(L) x 12’(H)

Canopy Area
1,800 ft2

Module Dimensions
Large: 2’(W) x 2’(L) x 2’(H)
Small: 2’(W) x 2’(L) x 1’(H)

Number of Modules
Large: 130
Small: 130

Structural System
Tube and clamp scaffolding
Aircraft cable

Plant Life
Modules sprayed with white clover modules: 130
Modules sprayed with perennial ryegrass: 130

Duration of Nursery Growth
30 days prior to hanging

Misting System
150 nozzles

LED System
20 RGB fixtures

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Project Data

Location : West Vancouver, Canada
Client : West Vancouver Museum

Design Team
Matthew Soules, Architect AIBC
Cam Koroluk
Heba Maleki

Structural Engineer
ADB Engineering

Hydro-Seeding
TerraStar Solutions

Misting System
MEC Systems

LED Lighting
URP Productions

Fabrication, Nusery, & Install Team
David Alba / Jordan Beggs / Rachael Chan / Ewing Choi / Nina Cicero / Cyrus Greenall / Annie Hony
Suzanne Kraus / Catherine Michelle  / Zeinab Mobini / Nikki Ng / Luis Puente  / Warren Scheske
Brandon Shaw / Daichi Yamachita / Sandy Wang / Vince Xi

Sponsors
British Columbia Arts Council / Friends of the Museum / TerraStar Solutions / MEC Systems

Photography
Krista Jahnke / Cam Koroluk / Sandy Wang

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