EcoSoMo public artwork reflects past and future of SFU’s UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain

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      Matthew Soules hopes a new public art installation on Burnaby Mountain will help “propel forward” the decade-old UniverCity community built next to Simon Fraser University’s main campus.

      The architect and artist, who lives in West Vancouver, led the design team for EcoSoMo (Ecological Social Modules), which will be unveiled tonight (June 16).

      Commissioned by the SFU Community Trust, EcoSoMo consists of 13 “futuristic yet primitive” sculptural clusters constructed from 50 pieces of concrete—in six modular shapes—fabricated by Szolyd Development. They run along University High Street between Tower Road and University Crescent.

      “I’m a big believer in the strength of dense urban neighbourhoods and what they offer socially and ecologically,” Soules told the Georgia Straight by phone. “This project, in its subtle way, is trying to be a generator of that.”

      Site Photography

      Inspired by the Rosetta Stone of ancient Egypt, each concrete piece bears information about Burnaby Mountain in the Roman alphabet, braille, and pictographic lettering created by graphic designer Ross Chandler.

      Matthew Soules Architecture

      Two of the clusters—topped by a “plant volcano” and a bird bath—have ecological roles. One of the two social clusters forms a seat, while the other has recesses inviting the public to decorate it.

      Matthew Soules Architecture



      Cariboo Dan

      Jun 20, 2015 at 8:09pm

      I once had a greatly inspirational moment, thanks to a concrete block.
      That was when I went to hospital to be checked out for a concussion.

      annie ross

      Jun 22, 2015 at 9:51am

      a poem entitled, 'oh my'.

      concrete prison
      brutalist architecture begets more
      same same same

      ode to black mold
      as you take your place in remaking
      old old old