For the past few years, I’ve been documenting the tiny houses of Black Rock City (BRC for short). BRC is the city where the participants of the annual Burning Man event live for a week or more. “Burners” design, build, pitch or tow their unique structures and homes out to the Nevada desert to protect themselves from the area’s harsh weather.
Black Rock City is the temporary home for thousands of Burning Man participants.
This year I was unable to make it to Burning Man. However, my friend and BRC neighbor, Philippe Glade, is always there with his trusty camera to capture the colorful construction for his blog, This is Black Rock City. Furthermore, this year he also updated his popular book and The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man is now available online and in selected stores in San Francisco ($40, Real Paper Books).
The Origami Pod by Joerg Student is made of one sheet of polypropylene.
The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man covers five years of Burning Man architecture and features 200 new images of unconventional and experimental designs—many who have made their debut in BRC.
The “Community Case” shipping containers won a Golden Rebar award.
Glade has been documenting Burning Man for the past 20 years and each year he explores the city’s streets, camps, villages and nooks and crannies to find the best designs. He awards structures in several categories with the Golden Rebar (rebar is an essential material in many BRC structures) and features them prominently on his blog.
The “Love Shack II” was 2016’s Tiny House Golden Rebar winner.
This Golden Rebar winner was perched in one of the more wind-prone areas of the city.
This beautiful structure features the Tree of Life made of paper and wheat paste.
For 2016, the Tiny House Golden Rebar award went to Thomas Kwaske and his “Love Shack II” pagoda. The little, yellow structure is made with plywood panels and has a bed, kitchen sink and photovoltaic panels on the roof. Other winners of the Golden Rebar include the “Community Case” by Michael P. Murnane made from shipping containers. Villages like Camp Eastern Light’s Shiftpods are also featured on both Glade’s blog and book.
The Black Rock Observatory by Tin Man is a BRC favorite.
The Purple Paradise Pod has an elevated bed with a kitchen underneath.
Glade’s book features a foreword by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Zahid Sardar, the typology of shelters by architect Glenn Lym and bonus pages celebrating “mutant vehicles”. In addition, several pages include practical tips and resources for anyone who is interested in bringing their own structure to the desert event.
BRC camps like Root Society house their residents in villages made of tipis…
…or in the case of Camp Eastern Light, in Shiftpods by Christian Weber.
All photos by Philippe Glade/This is Black Rock City