ensamble studio erects structures of landscape at montana’s tippet rise art center
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

venice architecture biennale 2016: on an 11,500-acre cattle ranch at the north edge of yellowstone park in fishtail, montana, tippet rise art center forms a major new destination for music and contemporary sculpture. opened on june 17, 2016, tippet rise has curated a collection of large-scale sculptural installations by some of the world’s foremost artists and designers. many of these spatial experiences are site-specific to the montana landscape, responding to the environment by blending the boundaries of art, nature and architecture.

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the installation is site-specific to the montana landscape
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

for tippet rise, madrid/boston-based ensamble studio, led by partners antón garcía-abril and débora mesa, has realized the project ‘structures of landscape’. embracing the challenge of creating harmony between an architectural intervention and the local landscape, the team was drawn to earthen materials and preexisting natural conditions in the project’s conception. with photography taken by iwan baan, the studio looked towards geological transformation processes — like sedimentation, erosion, weathering, crystallization, compaction, and metamorphism — as methods to reinterpret the topography.

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘beartooth’ — one of the structures at tippet rise art center
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

using these organic origins as an aesthetic and architectural catalyst, ensamble studio has erected a series of monumental structures cast from the terrain. equal parts shelter, sculpture and landscape, the structures emerge from the earth on a monumental scale, their primitive quality, rawness and geological expression inducing a compelling exchange with the natural surroundings.

 

 

ensamble studio: ‘structures of landscape’ — beartooth
video courtesy of ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

born from the landscape itself, the objects retain the memory and imprint of natural structures from which they have been cast. built using highly engineered processes, while welcoming unpredictable results, the project transforms matter into inhabitable space and unfolds a new constellation of programs among the plateaus, ridges, canyons and hills that compose the site.

 

‘structures of landscape enable habitation without exploitation, and intimate relationships with the environment,’ explain antón garcía-abril and débora mesa. ‘they resonate with the immensity, the roughness, the silence and the magic loneliness of the place amplifying its values, and situate our actions in an ambiguous position between nature, architecture and art; they can be one and all, or a completely different category that only makes sense where it was born.’

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘beartooth’ embracing the challenge of creating harmony between an intervention and the local landscape
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

on the occasion of the 2016 venice architecture biennale, ensamble studio has been selected by curator alejandro aravena to present ‘supraxtructures vs. structures of landscape’ at the arsenale. confronting the idea that cities are significantly less diverse, sociable, ethical, healthy, and livable than they should be, the studio presents maquettes that propose the construction of cities within cities, integrating buildings into a complex and fluid fabric; at the same time, using the theme of an unspoiled landscape as an ideal, they also demonstrate how difficult it is for most people to experience nature without the support of an urban framework. the arranged models for its tippet rise structures stand in stark contrast to the grid of maquettes that represent the city.

 

partners antón garcía-abril and débora mesa also discuss how they are approaching the complex intersections between the natural and built environment, and particularly how their project in the arsenale was, in part, inspired by their work at tippet rise art center.

ensamble studio structures of landscape
ensamble studio was drawn to earthen materials and preexisting natural conditions in the project’s conception
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

 

for more images, follow designboom on our dedicated instagram account @venice.architecture.biennale

ensamble studio structures of landscape
view of ‘beartooth’ sited in the montana surroundings
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the structures have been cast using elements from the landscape
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘beartooth’ is sited on an 11,500-acre cattle ranch at the north edge of yellowstone park in fishtail
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘inverted portal’ — the second built structure at the art center
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

 

 

ensamble studio: ‘structures of landscape’ — inverted portal
video courtesy of ensamble studio

ensamble-studio-tippet-rise-art-center-montana-art-center-designboom-01
the team was drawn to earthen materials and preexisting natural conditions
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the installation responds to the environment by blending the boundaries of art, nature and architecture
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble-studio-tippet-rise-art-center-montana-art-center-designboom-03
the natural and sculptural form stands out yet blends with the rolling hills
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘inverted portal’ is equal parts shelter, sculpture and landscape
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the objects retain the memory and imprint of the natural structures from which they have been cast
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the structure induces a compelling exchange with the natural lanscape
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
the pieces have been built using highly engineered processes, while welcoming unpredictable results
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘inverted portal’ and ‘beartooth’ built in montana
image © iwan baan / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
render of ‘domo’ — currently under construction at tippet rise
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
beneath ‘domo’, visitors are surrounded by an imprint of the landscape
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
construction on ‘domo’ at tippet rise art center progresses
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

ensamble studio structures of landscape
‘domo’ being cast from the existing landscape 
image © ensamble studio / courtesy of tippet rise

 

project info:

project: structures of landscape
location: fishtail, montana, USA
design years: 2015­- 2016
construction: 2016
author of the project: ensamble studio
principals: antón garcía­abril & debora mesa
project team: javier cuesta (construction master), ricardo sanz (project director), artemio fochs (photography director), massimo loia, borja soriano, walter cuccuru, giorgia pisano, simone cavallo.
structural engineer: jesús huerga ; beaudette consulting engineers general contractor: osm
collaborator companies: davis and sons; cmg; mountain west steel program: art center
structural system: reinforced concrete
major material: concrete

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  • WOW!! My greatest respect.

    Dirk16 says:
  • I never submit a response but, these structures are incredible! As a designer I wish we could see more of this, exterior & interior. Natural beauty that man made!
    Do more, please.
    Lynn LeMone IIDA
    Provo, Utah
    801.824.1751
    Harris Architecture

    (Mr) Lynn LeMone says:

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