Black Rock City has once again become home to one of the world’s most epic temporary cities as tens of thousands of people attend Burning Man Festival. The astounding factor about this particular event is the way it is designed to be created from nothing. An architectural and landscaping challenge like no other, we take a look at what makes Burning Man a design spectacle worth celebrating!

The event began as a gathering around a campfire near San Francisco in 1986 before it was moved to Nevada desert. Year on year the Black Rock City has significantly expanded, meticulously designed by architects and urban designers. The build and deconstruction of the extraordinary pop-up site has been recognised the world over. A workforce builds a city that sprouts out of nothing and operates as a fully functioning city – inclusive of medical facilities, airports, hospitality services, camping for crew and participants and themed/entertainment camps. A month later, the entire space returns to barren desert.

A horseshoe shaped city is formed around the Man, located in the centre point – where the event gets it’s name from the symbolic ritual burning of the large wooden effigy on the Saturday night. Burning Man is often described as a Utopian city. The festival is a large scale experiment in community and arts where participation is the core concept. The design world has been drawn to the event for it’s phenomenal interactive sculptures, buildings and experimental architectural structures across the site.

The theme this year is “Metamorphoses” which has birthed some incredible designs including a usable Finnish sauna in a huge pavillion designed by Helsinki firm JKMM Architects. Check out the project here;

The complex and fascinating dusty wooden structures are contrasted with many mirrored, silver, alien-like sculptures and buildings this year. From disco ball trucks and twisting temples to the 10,000sqm NASA space blanket proposed as Burning Man installation, this year there really is something for everyone.

Whilst partying in a desert may not be for everyone, the designs of these structures are on an internationally acclaimed level and transform this landscape into something you’d expect to see on another planet.

We’ve created a gallery of some of the previous architectural wonders from the festival and you can keep on top of this year’s astounding sights here!