"The Arbour" temporary cathedral by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2015 - Courtesy of Josh Haywood.

“The Arbour” temporary cathedral by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2015 – Courtesy of Josh Haywood.

Burning Man Festival 2015. Josh Haywood designed The Arbour, a temporary cathedral that creates the illusion of a forest. The London based designer studied geometry of sacred architecture and was inspired by the tree-like forms of medieval rib vaulting.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 02

The architecture will raise from the sands of Nevada’s Black Rock desert and will be set on fire at the end of the famous festival that runs from august 30 to september 7 and gathers dreamers and free spirits from all over the planet.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 01

Josh Haywood says to ArchiPanic: “Medieval architects used the arched geometry of ribs and vaulted ceilings to achieve a soaring lightness and elevate the spirit. As a temporary cathedral, The Arbour has a spiritual function as well”.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 04

Burners will be transformed from spectators to participants, not an audience but a congregation. We hope they will respond spontaneously by creating their own unique rituals and personal ceremonies”.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 05

The studio digitalised Medieval sacred architecture geometries and manipulated them in parametric models to design a contemporary structure. The ribs at the heart of structure are overlaid with intricately laser-cut curved plywood panels. A dense cellular pattern will filter the harsh sun and offer shade to Burners nestling at the centre.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 06

At night concealed lighting within the ribbed columns will illuminate the overhead structure and cast celestial patterns across the Playa.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015

The temporary cathedral is constructed from 300 panels of plywood laser cut, dowel rods, and some copper detailing. It comes as a giant flat pack architecture to be assembled by over 20 people both off site and onsite in just two weeks.

Josh Haywood Burning Man 2015 07

After a successful Kick Starter campaign, Josh Haywood and his team will fly back to Black Rock City. The designer debuted at the Burning Man Festival in 2014 with the Hayam Sun Temple, a tesselated temporary cathedral born by studying mystique and magic of Moorish architecture and researching the refined geometry and pattern of the Alhambra and the Alcazars.

"The Hayam Sun Temple" by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2014 - Courtesy of Josh Haywood.

“The Hayam Sun Temple” by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2014 – Courtesy of Josh Haywood.


The Burning Man Festival 2015. Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. The festival will run from August 30 to September 7. At the end of the event burners will turn to ashes everything has been constructed to leave no trace and return their emotions the the desert nature.