In his 1971 sci-fi short story collection called Vermilion Sands, author J. G. Ballard provides a brilliant portrayal of a world characterized chiefly by the harmonious and also, symbiotic intermingling of nature and technology. Each of the stories in the collection focuses on the hybridization of the natural and the man-made worlds, by means of an innovative and somewhat fantastic twist on a existing field of art- such as singing plants of “Prima Belladonna”, the sentient houses in “The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista”, the cloud sculptures of “The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D” and so on.
Taking inspiration from the highly versatile and dynamic world of Vermilion Sands, Canada-based Matthew Soules Architecture(MSA) firm has designed a one-of-a-kind artificially-produced living roof. This highly inventive temporary structure was established at the Millennium Park in West Vancouver, as part of the 10-day long Harmony Arts Festival starting from August 1.
Created under the supervision of the Museum of West Vancouver, the design consists of an incredibly artistic lush green three-dimensional canopy that doubles as a sunshade. The entire structure consists of 260 custom-built modules, constructed using steel wire mesh and shaped into hollow pyramids. Geotextile fabric is carefully fastened onto the individual modules and then, hydro-seed. Each of the pyramids is sprayed with a fertile mixture of guar gum, wood pulp and different kinds of perennial grass and white clover seeds , in a nursery. The resultant plant growth adds texture and variety, such that each module is inherently unique.
The on-site trees are used to place the canopy overhead, along with a number of cylindrical poles that provide stability and support to the structure. A built-in misting system hydrates the living canopy, while at the same time cooling the festival grounds below it. The dynamic Vermilion Sands roof cools the hot August air, and provides a much-needed shelter from the sun. The structure comes equipped with strategically-placed LED lights that make the entire setting all the more surreal and abstract.
To know more about the design and installation of Vermilion Sands, click here.