One Day You Might Zip 600 Feet Through the Air at Venice Beach

West
Thursday, July 19, 2012
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Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

If all goes well, Venice Beach’s latest attraction could be you, screaming in delight across a 600-foot long zipline. In consideration since May, a proposal to build a temporary zipline by the beach has been slowly making its way through the public process.

As proposed, the zipline would be in place for a three-month trial period. Operated by Canada-based Greenheart Conservation Company, the zipline could potentially generate revenue for the city. Part of the profits would go toward improving maintenance in public restrooms and trash clean up along the boardwalk.

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Site map of the Venice Zip Line; The total length has been shortened to 600 feet. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Site map of the Venice Zip Line; The total length has been shortened to 600 feet. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

The zipline structure was developed specifically for hard-to-reach places, according to Greenheart Conservation Company co-founder Ian Green. Because the company usually works in remote, natural habitats like the Belize rainforest or the Amazon forest in Peru, the company had to develop a lightweight system that could easily be built without using heavy machinery to haul in the structure. As a result, the company designed an aluminum truss system where a single person could carry each piece through thick forests. In the Venice iteration, local artists would be tapped to contribute art printed on four to six mesh canvases surrounding the launch and receiving towers respectively.

According to Green, the attraction would also host public arts performances, similar to what the company has done at the 2011 Burning Man Festival, where acrobatic arts performers were suspended over the gawking public. The company also plans to open its doors to nearby school children, offering aerial acrobatics classes or, at the very least, a chance to ride the zipline.

While the proposal has its supporters, some detractors worry about the additional noise and fuss potentially created by the added attraction. An appeal has been lodged on the city’s approval of the scheme and is awaiting hearing by the Board of Public Works on July 27. Should the zipline pass the hearing, it is still up to the California Coastal Commission to give the final go-ahead during its next monthly meeting in Santa Cruz this August.

Disappointed at having missed the summer season due to delays, Green nevertheless remains upbeat. “For now, we just kick back and wait. It’s summertime right? Everyone relaxes.”

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

Venice Zip Line rendering. (Courtesy Hans Walor)

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