Soaring, spikey plywood towers and a colourful, kinetic “settlement” by artist Morag Myerscough are among the large-scale installations at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.

The installations form part of the arts program at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which is hosted at the Empire Polo Club of Indio.

It brings together a mix of global artists, designers and architects each year to create large-scale installations across the festival grounds, which in recent years have included a 60-foot-tall (18 metre) sculpture by LA-based designer Güvenç Özel and a colourful, “urban landscape” by design studio Architensions.

This year, production agency Public Art Company collaborated with Coachella art director Paul Clemente and festival operator Goldenvoice on three installations that “explore the boundaries between reality and imagination” according to the team.

“Our goal is to curate a diverse, multidisciplinary art program that mirrors the eclectic spirit of Coachella itself,” said Public Art Company founder Raffi Lehrer.

“The 2024 installations are not only visually stunning but also deeply interactive, offering new ways for our audience to connect with art, with each other, and with the environment around them,” added Clemente.

Read on to learn more about this year’s installations:

Tall wooden installations
Photo by Lance Gerber

Monarchs: A House in Six Parts by Hannah

Monarchs by Cornell University professors Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic of design studio Hannah features soaring towers of plywood strips atop geometric 3D-printed concrete bases, which visitors can pass underneath and into.

The structures range from 35 to 71 feet (10 to 21 metres) tall and are spaced about 100 feet (30 metres) apart. Clad in gradients of blue and oranges, “vibrant light effects” at night cast the towers in various shades.

“Monarchs: A House in Six Parts playfully explores the possibilities of 3-D printing concrete and digitally fabricating lightweight, structurally efficient wood in new architectural design and construction,” said the team.

Rock like sculpture
Photo by Lance Gerber

Babylon by Nebbia

Designers Brando Posocco and Madhav Kidao of London-based design studio Nebbia created the monolithic, geometric Babylon installation from an ongoing interest in “transcendence”.

“It’s a geometry the duo played with in previous projects – a moment of objects touching, just kissing each other,” said the team. “They’re interested in transcendence, the idea that a place can take you away, and how architecture relates to performance and can become the generator of it.”

Babylon sits on a 60-by-60 foot (18 by 18 metre) footprint and reaches 60 feet (18 metres) in height, with visitors able to pass into its centre. A series of semi-circle and geometric shapes sit on a steel frame and were coated in plant-based acoustic/thermal insulation to create a bumpy texture.

Colorful installations
Photo by Lance Gerber

Dancing In The Sky by Morag Myerscough

British artist Morag Myerscough created a colourful and kinetic 125 by 125 foot (38 by 38 metre) “settlement” where festival-goers can pass underneath and around various gateways.

Made up of various, boldly patterned towers that are topped with elements that move with the wind, the installation was created to “emphasize the natural beauty of the sky”, as well as to put visitors at ease and make them feel welcome.

“The kinetic elements dance in the sky within the structures, the abstract moving shapes overhead seeming to take their energy from the activity on the ground and the sun above,” said the team. “The whole space is vibrant and alive, inspiring guests to explore.”

The images are courtesy of Coachella unless otherwise noted.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place from 12-14 April and 19-21 April in California. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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