Vermilion Sands by Matthew Soules Architecture at West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival

Running from August 1 to August 10, 2014, Vermilion Sands is a temporary installation that is transforming Millennium Park on West Vancouver’s waterfront into an engaging spatial environment during the Harmony Arts Festival.

Designed by MSA Matthew Soules Architecture, the project synthesizes multiple criteria into a singular yet transformative installation.

Atmospheric Performance – Vermilion Sands will filter the August sun, providing cool shade while animating the park with dynamic and dappled shadows. The undulating canopy will sway gently with the ocean breezes, thereby responding to subtle changes in the environment while sheltering festival goers.

Landscape and Pattern – The Vermilion Sands canopy is composed of a series of repeating shapes that collectively form a geometric pattern that is akin to a landscape. The project is influenced by the early days of West Coast Modernism when innovators like BC Binning created dazzling patterns that were inspired by the landscape.

New Ecologies – The surfaces that compose Vermilion Sands’ geometric pattern are fabricated from an innovative use of biodegradable material: a mixture of paper pulp, natural adhesive, and the seeds of various grasses and plants. Through this materiality, Vermilion Sands is alive, growing and transforming over the course of the Festival, only to be reabsorbed into the landscape when the Festival ends.

To watch a video documenting the installation of Vermilion Sands, please visit