Cirque de Reflexions Design and Production

Zone Creations has been involved in the design, fabrication and machining for the Cirque de Reflexions installation, a plywood and mirrored acrylic set of 12 towers and a centrepiece created by the British artist Andrea Greenlees for a prestigious art festival.

Cirque 001

Image © Andrea Greenlees

With the original illustrations from the artist being digitally hand-shaped by our designers into laser cuts and etches on the plywood surfaces, this was a challenging project that once again expanded our boundaries for design and fabrication.

Not only was there the difficult task of implementing the intricate detailed work on each and every panel, but there were many structure design and development hurdles to overcome to ensure that this exquisite artistic display survived its final destination: the demanding desert conditions of the Burning Man Festival in the United States. This was achieved thanks to the structural analysis and simulations undertaken by out staff.

Cirque 002

Image © Zone Creations

Two fully-assembled 4m-tall towers were built inside Zone Creations’ premises in order to do a 1:1 testing to both materials, structure and cutting / etching details, with all the components being measured and prepared for an easy assembly in the middle of the desert. Alongside the main towers, a centrepiece – the Obelisque – was fully designed, developed and produced by Zone Creations. This incorporated a plywood structure with a silver mirrored acrylic shelling to completely reflect the interior of the cirque and all its light installations.


Cirque 003

Image © Zone Creations

Cirque 004

Image © Andrea Greenlees

Introduction to the Cirque de Reflexions, by Andrea Greenlees:

Deceptively simple yet fiendishly complex, the Cirque de Reflexions comprises a tantalizing exterior reminiscent of chrysanthemum petals and Chinese folding screens together with a mysterious inner sanctum with a mystical mirrored centrepiece. The plan is a 12-pointed star and the faceted walls curve inwards like a flower folding for the night.

The traditional tattoo motifs of sun, moon and stars, waves, scrolls, dragons, butterflies, birds and flowers are cut out of the upper panels of the Cirque. Sunlight cast these patterns onto the Burning Man participants as they are reflected in multiplicity in the multi-faceted mirrored sculpture that dominates the interior. At night, internal multi-coloured lighting illuminates the playa through the tattoo tracery and sets the sculpture within alight with a fragmented rainbow of colour.Cirque 005

Image © Andrea Greenlees

Cirque 006

Image © Espresso Buzz Photography

Cirque 007

Image © Espresso Buzz Photography

1st December 2015 Posted by Kevin Self, Filed under Design