Home > Architecture, Art, Design, Events > Tower of Babel @ Burning Man 2009

Tower of Babel @ Burning Man 2009

Tower of Babel at Burning Man

Babel is not a group, an organization, nor a social order that simply build; but a manifestation of the single belief that we as humans should strive for the very best, achieve the yet to be imagined. This young collaborative of designers, which includes Sergio Ramirez, Brandin Roat, and Timothy Leung, are the pioneers that are not afraid to push and test the limit by transcending boundaries created by men. Their obsession with questions like, “Why not…” and “What if….” led them to be deliberate and conscious designers, craftsmen and visionaries who treasure and appreciate how things come together and continuously invent new ways to do so.

Their works embody the desire to make a functional, rational and versatile product which whole purpose is to better serve its users and their creations are bare, stripped to the core essentiality while embracing complexity in simplicity. Babel – in its purest pursuit of perfection – achieves greatness.

Tower of Babel Elevation

Tower of Babel Diagram

The tower is engineered to withstand structurally in difficult condition. Hexagon geometry was introduced to improve stability from wind forces and horizontal movement. The shape makes efficient use of space and building materials, similar to the cells of a beehive honeycomb. Strategically, by juxtaposing each level, vertical and horizontal loads can be evenly distributed. The tension rods act in favor to its tensile strength to further secure the structure. Shipping pallet is readily available yet is built with the most efficiency. It is tough and able to withstand great deal of compression while light enough to be transported by one person. 2X4 fill-in wood blocks strengthen the pallets while providing more area for connection.

The nature of the tower performs like an air chamber encouraging vertical ventilation throughout as cross ventilation run through the adjacent window openings. Modular geometry of each pallet creates opportunity for stepping. The tower functions as a single entity while each floor or each unit is divided and differentiated by windows constructed with various recycled materials. Slitter of sunlight scans along as one climbs up the structure until one reaches to the deck level and experience the majestic view of the Black Rock Desert, more than 30 feet above ground. At night, the tower turns into a lounge dramatized by illuminating red lights and glowing stars.

The tower is constructed on the premise of necessity, the need to experiment. It is an exploration set out to challenge the general conception. Constructability continues to be the undismissible factor throughout the process. It is our intention to reveal the temporality of structure and acceptance of time as countdown to inevitable demise. The design of its destruction is just as important as its creation.

Tower of Babel Day and Night

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  1. brian kesner
    September 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    A very nice presentation of a bold and creative endeavor, by some exceptional souls. Gracias!

  1. September 30, 2009 at 7:27 am

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