Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Report from NYC: P.F.1 at P.S.1

It's late summer in New York City and while everyone is murmuring forbodingly that it's soon drawing to an end, the summer Warm Up parties over at P.S. 1 are still in full, sweaty swing.

It's been a while since I shimmied over to the museum's Saturday parties, held in its courtyard outside, but I have been reading about this year's installation in the Young Architect's Program by WORK Architecture Company and have decided I must pay a visit.

The giant sloping wall of cardboard tubes planted with vegetables, called P.F. 1 (Public Farm 1), is a bit of a deviation from the museum's usual "urban beach" theme for its courtyard installations.

The top surface of P.F. 1 is a working farm, blooming with a variety of vegetables and plants. It's a very organic contrast to the grey concrete walls of the courtyard and looming buildings outside.

Now in its eighth year, the museum's competition has yielded some innovative designs built to provide shade for the revellers, while using the courtyard space in an interactive, fun way.

Last year's 'Liquid Sky' consisted of these giant teepee-like structures created by Ball-Nogues Studios.

Architect William E. Massie's 'Playa Urbana/Urban Beach' was a series of undulating, wave-like tunnels made of PVC tubing, which shaded shallow pools.

And OBRA Architects constructed 'BEATFUSE!' , consisting of interconnected domes made of plywood and polypropylene mesh suspended above tidal pools, water misters, and light strainers.
Here in the urban jungle we have to find creative ways to keep cool - so hat's off to these talented designers who keep managing to magic up an empty, gravel-strewn lot into a cool funhouse. See you there!

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