Would Buckminster Fuller have been a Bon Iver fan? We’ll never know. But while the world will never see Mr. Fuller enjoying a can of lukewarm beer and feeling the groove at a summer music festival, we’ll have to assume he was there in spirit at last June’s Roskilde in Denmark where, for the second year in a row, a temporary Bucky-inspired structure was erected amongst the revelers and revelry.
The original 2011 model was the brainchild of architect Kristoffer Tejlgaard (with help from engineer Henrik Almegaard); he wanted to bring the “icon of hippie architecture” to the concertgoers and, as luck would have it, the Danish National Gallery was in need of a hangar for one of Museo Aero Solar’s massive hot air balloons, pieced together like a patchwork from used plastic bags (attendees were given condoms in exchange for their secondhand sacks, and invited to help put the whole thing together). After the event, the whole thing was taken apart, put on pallets, and stored on-site–which, Tjelgaard admits, got a bit moldier than he would have preferred.
In 2012, Tejlgaard teamed up with Benny Jepsen after collaborating at creative collective Bureau Detours, and the pair set out to make the second incarnation more refined and a hell of a lot bigger. “Roskilde has always been great at encouraging artists to participate at the festival,” Tejlgaard says. “Though all the work is on volunteer basis, they help a lot to realize a great variety of ideas.” It took 15 of these able-bodied folk about two weeks to erect the structure, which was refined slightly in order to scale up to double its previous size: 36 iron rods were driven a meter into the ground around the unit’s footprint, and the flooring was eliminated to give the sense that this just stood on its own in the field; screws and edges were taped to make disassembly a lot easier; and a local tent producer provided plastic membranes for the windows.
The exterior was also painted white, which cleverly camouflaged the history of the piece. “This made the surface look as if the modules were fabricated at the same time,” Tejlgaard says. “You had to go inside to see the older, worn elements from the year before.” This minimalistic, monochromatic veneer didn’t last long, however; Tejlgaard enlisted the help of his pigment-loving buddies at Copenhagen-based art collective Ultragrøn to gradually transform the outside into a 3-D color wheel with strategically applied, brightly hued paint. “I think the symbolism in changing the facade over the length of the festival was just right.”
The pair are already working on their next project together–another geodesic. Plus, they’ve still got plans for Roskilde. “The dome is becoming an integral part of the festival,” Tjelgaard says. “It will certainly be erected again with a new twist, and continue to evolve.”