SweaterLodge label

I’m just back from the Museum of Vancouver, where an enormous 87-foot Polartec 200 fleece sweater (at 18 times human scale!) has just been installed for a new exhibition. SweaterLodge Unlatched opens tomorrow and runs through May 1st. Tickets for tonight’s opening party are still available.


SweaterLodge is the mastermind of Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb of Pechet and Robb Art and Architecture. The installation was chosen through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture. This will be its first Canadian viewing.

Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb
[Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb]

So what is this huge Polar fleece sweater project about? SweaterLodge is meant to be part art, part architecture, and all commentary on Vancouver. Stephanie Robb explains:

“The installation is a portrait of Vancouver where the veneration of nature and the construction of urban culture stand at curious odds. As a comment on our culture of mass consumption and our love of the great outdoors, the huge fleece sweater can be viewed as an emblem of this paradox.”

Adds Pechet: “There will always be the same amount of material on the Earth. It’s what we do with it that counts.”

SweaterLodge brochures at entrance

When visitors enter the space they are asked to remove their shoes and follow a two-litre pop bottle threshold into the gallery, where they will be able to take in the giant orange garment. A booklet at the entrance will help guide them through this experience. The large space is perfect for contemplating the enormous sweater in all its orange splendour. Something as banal as a fleece sweater has been repurposed into something unique.

Sweater sleeve and entrance!

An adjacent gallery contains giant bolts of orange polar fleece and explanations about the Venice showing. There’s a few more surprises that I won’t spoil for you.

Fleece wall submission

A couple of dates to keep in mind:

January 12th – Opening Party, 7 pm
February 3rd – Curator’s Talk and Tour: The Making of SweaterLodge, 7 pm
March 3rd – Curator’s Talk and Tour: The Creative Backstory, 7 pm
April 7th – Lullabies for Grownups with Veda Hille under SweaterLodge, 7 pm

Pechet and Robb Art and Architecture is a design studio with a background in both fine art and architecture. Since 1991, Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb have produced a portfolio of projects including private residences, cemeteries, memorials, public art, plazas, commercial interiors, exhibitions, sets and furniture. In all of this work, their interest lies in developing environments that bridge the worlds of art and imagination to everyday life. Additionally, they’ve been featured in both national and international publications and exhibitions, and have lectured across Canada, USA, and Japan. They’ve also received design awards for architecture, landscape, and lighting.


  • Comment by Brian R. — January 12, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    I am a fleecy kinda guy. Bring it 😉

  • Comment by Charlotte — January 12, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    Excellent write-up. Guess everyone will be wearing orange tonight at the party – LOL!!

  • Comment by diane — January 12, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    Sorry I missed you at the opening tonight. . . we must have just crossed paths inside the sweater’s sleeve! Was so much fun.

  • Pingback by Lullabies for Grownups at MOV | ariane c design — April 1, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    […] The Museum of Vancouver presents Lullabies for Grownups: Veda Hille in concert under the cozy and current installation of SweaterLodge. […]

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