The rich and lyrical symbolism of Metamorphoses is the theme for this Burning Man base pavilion design. It suggests an experience symbolizing the nature of transformation, following a path of mystery and ambiguity.
Five concepts are interwoven to create the central structure, loosely based on Ovid’s tales from 8 AD.
The first takes the form of two heroic wings clearly suggestive of flight, but not exactly the pure form of a butterfly. There is ambiguity; it could be a bird, or the wings of Icarus, a symbol of Man’s passion and arrogance.
The second is expressed by a large blue sphere, symbolizing the earth and all the potential our time on this planet represents.
The third, the figure of two large arms which seem to offer up the globe to the heavens, is an adaptation of Ovid’s dark tale of Apollo pursuing Daphne. These hands now allude to a re-greening of the earth, a hope for a better planet.
The fourth is the Golden Cage surrounding the Man, representing the internal and external forces that keep us from realizing our potential as human beings.
The last concept involves the power of the human heart. At the top of the globe, right under the Man, is a platform with an inlaid heart-shaped one-way mirror, and if you get on your knees, and look intensely into that heart, you can see the whole universe. This is your universe, this your heart, and you know, in that moment, this is where you belong.
Type monument, civic
Location Black Rock City, NV
Client Burning Man Project
Image Credit Renderings by John Marx and Downtown
2020 First Place, Pop Up-Culture Concept, Re-thinking the Future Awards
2019 Shortlisted, Office-Competition, World Architecture Festival