An ancient windcatcher becomes a hypnotic device in this new installation
Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari's interpretation of an Iranian windcatcher makes a space for contemplation
A bâdgir is a system for cooling air, traditionally used in the hot temperatures of Iran. And this summer, artists Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari revived the form and transplanted it to the considerably cooler shore of Lake Ontario for an exhibition called The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea.
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In their 24-foot-tall sculpture called Observatory for Riparian Repose, viewers get to both experience the effects of a bâdgir which channels wind down its centre to offer relief from the blistering sun — and take a moment to reflect in the peaceful space around the monument. Looking at the patterns the wind creates in the pool of water at the tower's base, Kalmenson says, "I feel like I'm in an eternally lazy summer day, here right now with a beautiful pattern dancing on your face."