The Castielfabib community of Valencia put on an especially exciting show during this year’s Las Fallas festival in Spain. An annual celebration that culminates on St. Joseph’s Day – (the patron saint of carpenters, of course), “The Fires” involves an entire community working together. And fire. Check out the geodesic dome that went up in flames.
Las Fallas most likely takes its origin from a Spring / Harvest pagan ritual that has evolved into one of Spain’s zaniest fiestas, and that’s saying a lot. Specifically a Valencian tradition, the week-long event brings the community together for a series of comic, religious and historic street activities that is laced with with a healthy dose of irony.
Mixuro Estudio de Arquitectura led the geodesic dome project in The Castielfabib community – a deeply inspiring and creative project that would have made Buckminster Fuller proud. ‘Bucky’ widely extolled the geodesic form created by Dr. Walther Bauersfeld three decades before he became a respected voice among earth-conscious people.
Several members of the community signed up to work with the design team to make a geodesic dome out of non-toxic materials, a process that took days, but which was rewarded with an extraordinary, but temporary space of utter perfection.
Stacks of cardboard and paper triangles with colorful triangles inside them were assembled to create the dome – the colorful parts inside, which really impressed me. The dome was erected on a substantial plot covered in sand. Children are seen in the video playing in the sand while the adults put the finishing touches on their structure.
And then the flames! Largely I think because of the material choices and how the dome was erected, the fire was carefully managed to burn from the inside out. The person responsible for putting that initial flame to this beautiful communal artwork that involved so many hours of devotion and purpose is called The Malleler Mayor.
Ecologically speaking, this is probably not that great. Extracting a pile of materials just to burn them down?
But culture is also an essential component of any ecosystem, and the design team’s ability to simplify a fairly complex project to such an extent that an entire community could build it together with very little training speaks volumes about their talent. And the community’s commitment to tradition.
We really love this. Can you tell?