Ensamble Studio's 'Land Architecture' Opens in Big Sky Country

John Hill
16. June 2016
"Inverted Portal" (Photo: Screenshot)

The Tippet Rise Art Center opens tomorrow on an 11,500-acre (4,450-hectare) ranch just north of Yellowstone in Fishtail, Montana. Among its many artworks are a few pieces by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa of Ensamble Studio.

The duo calls Beartooth Portal, Domo and Inverted Portal "cultivated structures," since they are cast directly from the landscape. As the videos below make clear, the earth was shaped to create voids that served as formworks for the massive pieces, each "a cyclopean mass built with stone, earth and water, binded with concrete." They explain this approach as such:

Working with earth and stones, interpreting their formation logic, different techniques and processes are studied to manipulate the structural, acoustical and thermal properties of these local materials at different scales; and natural transformation processes –sedimentation, erosion, explosion – emulated to create landscapes within landscapes that will eventually return to their natural state with no negative impact.

With a combination of artworks and concert venues, Tippet Rise Art Center aims to make "transformative connections between music, art, and nature ... anchored in the belief that art, music, architecture and nature are inextricably linked in the human experience." Of its three pieces, Ensamble Studio's Domo is a 98-foot-long, 16-foot-tall, sculptural concrete structure that serves as a performance venue. On 25 June Domo will host a world premier performance of Tippet Rise Songs composed by Antón García-Abril, the father of the architect.

Tippet Rise Art Center masterplan (Image: Ensamble Studio)

Construction of Beartooth Portal:

Construction of Inverted Portal:

Construction of Domo:

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