Projects For Coachella

Location: Coachella Valley, CA
Year: 2017
Status: Unbuilt

The LADG was commissioned to design a large-scale pavilion and sun shade at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music Festival. The projects were occasioned by an observation of fashion trends at music festivals: young people (of all genders) are wearing blankets, ponchos, and giant wraps. Practically, these function as a kind of shelter. They provide sun protection during the day and a soft surface for sleeping at night. Aesthetically, they place the wearer somewhere between a human and a mountainous lump.

The affinity between people and landforms is particularly acute at Coachella, where the San Bernardino Mountains flanking the valley are bare, starkly outlined as figures against the sky, and a shade of medium rose-brown not so far from “millennial pink.”

We thought architecture could literalize the latent similitudes. In the proposal, figural sheds are draped in loose blankets of pink concrete. The geometry of the sheds, seen as lumps and wrinkles underneath the blankets, produces the visual effect of super-scaled, draped bodies. The thermal mass of the concrete blankets slows daytime heat gain while the double skin of the 40’ shed / blanket assembly induces a chimney effect to move hot air up and out.

Goldenvoice, the parent company of the Coachella Festival, asked for seven iterations of the design. With each round, LADG was asked to simplify the design and simultaneously make it taller. The final edit, was a 50’ tower made of six objects.

Project Lead: Jonathan Rieke

Project Team: Taylor Halamka, Kenji Hattori-Forth, Evan Orf, Trenmen Yau