For FREEZE, a recent "month-long celebration of Alaska and life in the north," Vancouver-based molo design was commissioned to create an installation in Anchorage made of snow and ice.
[Photographs are courtesy molo design, unless noted otherwise]
According to the designer's original proposal, "Tall walls of sintered snow form two concentric circles, creating a path that winds into an intimate central space, transitioning from views of the city to an abstraction of the northern landscape. The shape of the inner space is derived by imagining a circle of people gathered around a fire. The shape of the room also serves to frame the light of the northern sky."
A pile of firewood signals the entry, inviting people into the narrow opening in the thick wall of snow, and hinting at what lies inside.
Movement through the space between the two tall walls of snow builds anticipation...
...while also making visible the process of construction.
Sound (Portland-based musician Ethan Rose contributed music for one day) and smell draws people towards the center, where steps provide access to the central hearth.
Aagain the designers indicate, "Once we started the fire, the general public took ownership of it and kept it going almost 24 hours a day...many people returned for a second visit, some with wine, or food, or friends."
[photograph by Hal Gage | image source]