Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bamboo 'Star Scraper' for the Coachella Music Festival

I participated with the construction of this fully engineered, 100' tall bamboo tower, called the 'Star Scraper' because of it's six-pointed geometry and sheer size.

Design by BambooDNA

Details looking upward

Dusk scene at the festival

Illuminated at night

Another flaming sculpture at the festival, a stainless steel dragon with each vertibrae lighting up in flames at the touch of a button.

The crowd loves our sculpture!

Making of 'the StarScraper'

Aerial of our prefab site - can't get any closer to the pacific ocean than this!

Lots of bamboo - mostly dendricalimus and guadua varieties
The main structural columns are made from 7 - 30' poles lashed together.
This is one of the few bamboo structures of it's size ever structurally engineered and approved in the US.
Testing the rigging without heavy machinery.

Loading the stake-bed trucks with all the pieces!

Unloading at the Coachella site
Fabricating the 60' columns on site.

How many men does it take to install an earth anchor?
We had to get these 9 feet deep because the soil here is mostly sand.
Loud. Grueling. Sweaty.
I'll take photographs.
Working late into the night on my birthday.
The best 'cake' I could have ever hoped to see lit up on this day.
With light towers and a Gradall, we can do anything.

The next morning, tweaking the angles

Installing the star-shaped cross bracing

Raising the 'spire', which is equipped with a propane line
and going to shoot fire at night. WOW!

It seems to float above the star

With spandex shade cloth attached!

Upward view

Thanks to the hard-working crew!

Tales of the Palapa Mama

For the backstage component of BambooDNA's Coachella Music Festival project, we constructed four beautiful bamboo palapas. Each with several lounging areas and glorious details pulled together with a crew over 20 deep. I somehow ended up in a management role and helped make sure that everything was coordinated from pre-fab site to Coachella, used everyone's labor efficiently and dialed in the last details for the VIP backstage environment. Afterall, bamboo isn't just about huge sculptures, it's beautiful at the human scale as well and all the rockstars during this weekend got well acquainted with our work.
Prototyping and prefab in Santa Barbara.
Connecting the cross beams and curved rafters with 3/8" all-thread rod.

Labeling galore! Four different, yet similar units, each with over 20 parts.

Assembly crew
Let's move that 2,000 lbs. structure 10 feet to the right and twist 25 degrees...
Alright if Gerard says so!

My upholstery shop in the desert.

Thank god for Bernina sewing machines!

Details of the curtain tie-backs.

Riding the load of cushions and bolstiers over to the site!

Check out those details!
Stretching spandex for the shading using beans tied in little pouches.
Love the light effects on the shade clothes
Unique lighting also made of bamboo fills out our environment.
Designs by Kinetic Lighting.

the 'red palapa'
the 'yellow palapa'

the 'burgundy palapa'

the rockstars arrive!

Awesome nighttime environment!