ball-nogues studio: ‘talus dome’ reflects local landscape
image © dwayne martineau/laughing dog photography
all images courtesy of ball-nogues studio

 

 

 

drawing attention to the interstitial space between the quesnell bridge and the north saskatchewan river in edmonton alberta LA-based design firm, ball-nogues studio created ‘talus dome’ as a synthetic landscape that reflects the landscapes of both man and nature.  the form is derived from the natural settling of aggregates piled from one place, such as those remaining on the site from road construction or snow drifts. however, unlike these mounds, the installation is hollow. a single layer of stainless steel balls in three sizes are used to maximize structure with a minimal use of materials. smaller diameter spheres nestle in between larger ones as though gravity has taken over their arrangement. to ensure its stability and constructability, the design of the vault and the form-work used to create it were carefully articulated using the 3D modeling software rhinoceros and CATIA.

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
‘talus dome’ occupies no man’s land between the road and river
image © dwayne martineau/laughing dog photography

 

 

 

a complex formwork was designed for the creation of the ‘talus dome’. the cone-shaped wooden structure was constructed to hold the metal balls in place while they were welded together into panels. after the frame was filled and all the pieces were numbered, a crane lifted them out in sequence to be transported for assembly on-site. the steel shell is highly reflective, capturing the sun, sky, river and road in silver skin. as the weather changes and time pass, the appearance varies. the permeable composition allows the viewer’s eye to fill in gaps between individual elements, seeing it as solid although it is not. thus, the installation exhibits the permanence and mutability of nature. 

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
pedestrians get a closer look as the traverse the long stair inscribed into the hillside
image © dwayne martineau/laughing dog photography

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
930 stainless steel balls compose ‘talus dome’
image © dwayne martineau/laughing dog photography

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
inside ‘talus dome’
image © dwayne martineau/laughing dog photography

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
120,000 vehicles pass the installation daily
image © gaston nogues

ball-nogues studio: talus dome reflects local landscape
talus dome in spring
image © gaston nogues

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

principals and designers in charge: benjamin ball and gaston nogues
project manager: james jones
project team: karla castillo, deborah chang, tyler crain, constantina dendramis, jessica devries, isabel francoy albert, julieta gil, benjamin jenett, james jones, ayodh kamath, alison kung, luciana martinez, nicolas pappas, allison porterfield, samantha rose, ron shvartsman, caroline smith, alejandra sotelo, jess thomas, julianne weiss, evan wiskup.
custom software design: pylon technical
structural engineer: buro happold, los angeles