Project, 2004
Joshua Tree, California
Finalist, Green Tent Design Competition

What if the machinery of warfare could be retrofit for peaceful desert recreation?

The competition brief called for a portable, ecologically sensitive structure for desert camping in Joshua Tree National Park. Inspired by one of the California desert’s most (in)famous functions, the storage of huge numbers of ageing aircraft from Vietnam and previous wars, the project proposes a new, final retrofit for the most notorious of military aircraft, the B-52 bomber, with the hope of redirecting the life cycle and material flow of this war machine into a peaceful and sustainable purpose.

Retrofit B-52 wing ribs and integrated solar panels are permanently installed in the desert at specified campsite locations. When no tents are hung, the wing ribs collectively form a silent monument in the desert, reminiscent of the patterns of planes utilized during the Cold War for the U.S. and Russia to count each other’s inventories via satellite imagery. The nylon mesh tents, supported by an embedded, light-weight spiral cord and featherweight aluminum poles, are rented and hung by campers from the wing ribs. At night, the tents glow with their solar-charged lanterns, illuminating the desert landscape with a soft green light.

Project Credits: 
Adam Marcus, Andrea Flamenco, Sara Goldsmith, Amy Stringer