Burning Man‘s temple designs have oft been inspired by Asian architecture, and next year’s will be no exception.
The Temple of Direction will take a page from Japanese architecture, specifically the orange Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, according to an announcement from the Burning Man organization this week. The temple appears as two wooden hallways of gates that rise in height as they come to the center, awash in light.
The architect, Geordie Van Der Bosch, is a seven-time Burner. It’s his first temple, but he’s no stranger to architecture.
Van Der Bosch, who lived in Japan for a time, has a masters in advanced architectural design from the California College of the Arts, and he’s been practicing architecture in the Bay Area for 12 years, according to Burning Man’s announcement. He is also a camp lead for the Black Rock Roller Disco.
The Burning Man organization chose the design for its simplicity, elegance and austerity, according to a statement on the Burning Man Journal on Tuesday.
“It’s a space that responds to the openness of the playa by creating a framework that encourages you to travel from end to end,” the organization’s statement said on Tuesday.
The temple at Burning Man is considered one of the most revered installations at the event since the temple has become a place of mourning for many Burners. Attendees decorate the wooden beams of the structure in letters, photos and other tokens of the dead before the temple is burned on the final night of the annual, week long festival in the Black Rock Desert.
The design is also in-line with the theme for 2019: Metamorphoses.
“This linear form reflects the passage of life with its beginning, middle, and end,” the statement said. “Throughout the structure there are areas that reflect this journey: narrow and wide spaces, bright and dark spaces, and tunnels that create intimate physical settings.”
The temple designs in recent years have varied, some of them more contemporary than others – including this year’s spiraling Temple of Transition and the cornucopia-shaped Temple of Promise from 2015.
The premiere temple architect, David Best, often used southeast Asian elements for his designs, including the 2016 Temple with no name and the 2012 Temple of Juno.
The temple crew each year has about two weeks to build the structure before the event begins. Burning Man this year is scheduled for Aug. 25 to Sept. 2.
The temple project will be seeking volunteers in spring 2019.