Clearing

PhotosThis project explores the possibility of creating a set of experiences that recall the phenomenal qualities of the historical, natural site of a mixed-use development in Vancouver.
DescriptionThis project explores the possibility of creating a set of experiences that recall the phenomenal qualities of the historical, natural site of a mixed-use development in Vancouver. Prior to its development less than 100 years ago, the land on which the project is situated was a forest of giant fir trees set against a vivid fabric of stars in the remote night sky. Our project creates atmospheric effects guided by cues taken from the site’s material history.

Clearing features an intricate folded metal canopy that uses shadow to subtly recreate the pattern that would have been cast by the natural canopy of foliage in the ancient forest. The canopy creates an evocative grove-like atmosphere around a cluster of benches that invite people to gather within. Surrounding the sculptural canopy is a constellation of LED lights inset into the ground across the field, forming a pattern of stars in the darkness.

The canopy is composed of layers of metal panels, water-jet cut with intricate foliage patterns that have been generated by a computer script which mimics the growth pattern of the particular tree species. Distributed across the landsape is a constellation of small solar-powered LED light units embedded in the ground which evoke the qualities of a contemplative, remote night sky. The LEDs mark various points along the system of tunnels that used to connect former hospital buildings to the former nurses’ residence, as well as locations on the site plan where trees used to stand. The effect ties into and creatively expands upon these histories, operating on both factual and mythical levels, similar to that of astral constellations.

InfoCompetition / Vancouver / 2007
with Kate Armstrong & Marc Baumgartner

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