The Portable Tower

The Portable Tower
Location: Blackrock Desert, NV
Total ft2: 10,000 – Ten Stories
Owner: Raiser Organization
Erected in 3.5 Days
Disassembled in 1.5 Days

“A Frenchman once made a tower that changed the way we think about the possibilities of Steel. Was it art? When I saw the Tower of Babylon on the edge of the Playa I was skeptical. I see this form so often. The frame against the sky, how mundane!

What I found there was something awesome. Crafted from every day building materials that we think we “know”, this modular representation of our reach for greatness, transforms the known into limitless possibility. While modular building and flexible design are mainstays of the Modern Architectural movement, the possibilities of this tower (its ability to be moved and reconfigured) are inspirational.

The expression of the American strive for greatness and success is sometimes seen as contrary to the ethos of Burning Man. Here, at the Tower of Babylon, greatness and success are borne on the wings of an Engineering feat worthy of attention. For me, the tower represents a desire for achievement which is a fundamental part of the American Dream. It embodies the idea that we can take what we see around us and reinvent our own world. America was once called “The New World”. Perhaps, if we work hard, if we change the way we look at things, if we take the things we think we “know” and turn them into something new, America will once again become “A New World”.”

— Steven Young
Burning Man 2008 Attendee (Blog September 1st, 2008)