Ryan Rideout

Ryan Rideout

Seattle, WA, US


Lodestar, Nuclear Landmark for WIPP Competition Winner

Since the Cold War, one of the most challenging and urgent tasks facing governments around the world has been the disposal of transuranic nuclear waste. As a by-product from nuclear weaponry production, high-level waste is not only harmful, but also boasts a formidable decay process lasting thousands of years. To address this issue, millions of barrels of highly radioactive waste have been buried in repositories deep beneath the earth’s surface. To ensure public safety, it is imperative that sites remain undisturbed for the duration of the waste’s decay process. arch out loud is releasing the NUCLEAR competition asked designers to submit architectural proposals for markers. These landmarks will serve to warn future societies of the dangers of such a site.

For millennia, cultures across the world have attached deep significance to celestial movements and cycles. Ancient civilizations derived meaning from constellations and planets and wove astrology into mythology and religion. In the second millennium, sailors used the stars to navigate an unknown world. Among these stars, the North Star has held the greatest importance as a means of wayfinding. Lodestar  relies on simple architectural gestures to communicate the danger buried deep within the site. Tied to greater celestial movements, the landmark is not dependent on language or a site steward to communicate the passing of 10,000 years.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: WIPP, New Mexico, USA
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Gilberto Villalobos and Ryan Rideout