Work wrapped up this summer on Bittertang Farms’ installation at Ragdale, the nonprofit artists’ community in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, and true to its plans the straw amphitheater springs forth from a lush hillside in Lake Forest, Illinois. Designers Michael Loverich and Antonio Torres of The Bittertang Farm won $15,000 earlier this year to erect the 102nd Ragdale Ring—an ongoing design competition for temporary outdoor theater spaces in north suburban Chicago. Based in Mexico City and New York City, the designers evoked the theater’s bucolic setting with straw-filled tubes of biodegradable material. Dubbed Buru Buru, Bittertang’s amphitheater creeps up from the soil with straw wattle tendrils. Wrapping around a framework of trusses, it forms a pentagonal opening whose womb-like quality is only enhanced by LEDs that illuminate the interior at night. Buru Buru’s organic elements are more than a formal nod to fuzzy ideas—the structure is actually meant to entwine with its natural habitat over time. In addition to sheltering actors and activating the rolling hills of Lake Forest, Buru Buru is also a substrate for growing grasses and mushrooms.
Posts tagged with "Bittertang":
Michael Loverich of Bittertang Farms, a firm recently announced as an inclusion in AIA New York's New Practices New York exhibition, will be discussing his practice in a lecture affiliated with the upcoming show. The firm, or rather the farm's unconventional name is reflected in projects that tend to stray into the realms of the organic and the sensory. Loverich partnered with Antonio Torres to form Bittertang, which has offices in New York and Southern Mexico. Entitled "Make It Squeel!!!!," Loverich's talk will be held on April 16th at 5:30 in the Häfele Showroom. Register for the event, click here.
Coming this summer to a Governor's Island near you (as long as you're in New York), the Burple Bup pavilion will fuse natural and synthetic materials to create a sustainable refuge from the sun. Composed of layered earthen strands winding sinuously beneath a translucent floating dome. Designed by Bittertang, the temporary shelter will provide a quiet meditative and social space on the island beginning May 27. Burple Bup is described by its designers as a secret hideout that promotes quiet socializing, the space will also provide a venue for arts and cultural performances. Earthen berms made of fabric tubes filled with bark and soil wind naturally to form a new landscape and sound barrier. Grasses will cover the berms to create a lush landscape suited for relaxation. Individual inflated balloons called "Bups" join together to create a hovering ceiling that filters light with a changing wash of color. After the summer season is finished, the shelter will be disassembled and either recycled or reused. The fabric and soil from the berms will be composted and used for nearby landscaping projects while the inflatable Bups will be distributed to local swimming pools for use as toys during summer 2012. Bittertang's concept was selected from over 80 entries to the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition sponsored by Figment, the Emerging New York Architect Committee of the AIANY, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York. Construction will begin soon, pending approvals and fundraising. (You can donate to the project over here.) The pavilion will be open to the public from May 27 through September 25 and an exhibition of the design will be on display at the Center for Architecture at 536 La Guardia Place from July 18 through September 16.