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Northern Sky Circle x Molo Design

by Karen Day
on 28 January 2009

Today's wintery mix in New York has us thinking we're over snow. However, Molo Design studio's installation, Northern Sky Circle—created for Freeze Project in Alaska—will have you happily gathering with friends in this ephemeral outdoor amphitheater comprised of nothing but snow and ice.

The Vancouver-based design team began construction on the amphitheater on a pitch black, −30°C morning in Anchorage but they quickly realized that building would be a bit harder than they originally planned. The snow they were going to use had been plowed in from parking lots resulting in a mix of gravel, sand and snow. Fluctuating temperatures throughout the day didn't make it any easier.


Molo Design Director Todd MacAllen tells CH, "We tested the snow by piling it and loosely shoveling it into formwork. We realized that the snow could become almost concrete-like as it sintered (crystallized into a solid mass) in such cold." They played with the walls, creating different shapes and textures in the walls by hand. MacAllen continues, "the resulting walls contain a geology of formations and textures that can be read at various scales, including that of the imagination."


Celebrating Alaska and boreal life, Northern Sky Circle is one of 14 installations created for the Freeze Project. All are on display until 1 February 2009. With only a few days left, the best way to view all of them is on 30 January at AntiFREEZE—a music, dance and video performance taking place among the installations. More info available at Freeze Project.

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