OK Ice Cube installation at Seattle Design Festival

By Penny Craswell

Seattle-based architecture practice Olson Kundig (OK) created an ephemeral installation in Occidental Park as part of the Seattle Design Festival last month: a 10-tonne ice cube that slowly melted in the sun.

Ice Cube by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson

The piece acts as a statement raising environmental awareness, providing visitors with a tangible metaphor for the melting ice caps, “marking the passage of time as its waters slowly return to the sea,” according to the architects, as well as “showcasing the stages of the natural water cycle as the ice shifts from opaque to translucent”.

The physical presence of such a large ice cube, which was constructed of a number of smaller blocks, was beautiful and serene, filtering the light to create a glowing presence that you can’t help but touch. An immediate response from the public was to press your hand into the ice, creating a hand print where the ice melts more quickly.

The cube lasted for nine days from the 9 – 18 September.

More on Ice Cube

More on Seattle Design Festival

Ice Cube (detail) by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube (detail) by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Daytime, Ice Cube by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Daytime, Ice Cube by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Interacting with Ice Cube by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Interacting with Ice Cube by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube at dusk by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube at dusk by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube under construction by Olsen Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson
Ice Cube under construction by Olson Kundig as part of Seattle Design Festival. Photo: Eirik Johnson

 

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