Jorge Chapa

Work Architecture Greenroof Wins PS1 Design Competition

by , 02/15/08
filed under: Architecture, New York City

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Every year in New York City, the PS1 Contemporary Art Center hosts an architectural design competition to design a temporary, outdoor ‘summer stage’ for the PS1 Warm-up Music Festival. While last year’s winning design was all about providing a space for dancing, this year’s temporary structure, designed by Work Architecture, is all about the green! And of course we love that here at Inhabitat…


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For the past seven years, the PS1 gallery has invited a number of young emerging architects to participate in this competition to design a temporary structure for their summer music festival. The goal is to create a temporary space that is groundbeaking in terms of architecture, eye-catching, and has an innovative use of technology and production. Work Architecture, this year’s winner, meets all of those requirements in their stunning green design, as well as provoking an interesting dialog on the environment and the reuse of spaces.

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It’s an unusual choice, especially for a festival better known for the more dynamic spaces, tents and canopies. We love it however and applaud PS1 for picking a green design this year. Work Architecture’s winning proposal calls for a series of cardboard tubes, each no more than a yard tall, being assembled next to each other to form a large platform. Some of those columns will be filled with a series of fruit-growing plants, everything from mint to peas, while some will remain completely open, from top to bottom, to allow some light to shine through. The platform will be held in a v-shape by a series of columns on the courtyard. The columns aren’t used only for structural purposes, some of them will contain everything from phone charging equipment to a swing. There will even be one in which fresh juice will be sold.

One cannot deny that the design is inspired. The idea was to reinvent the idea of a temporary space. Initial sketches showed the idea of an urban beach, an idea which was then turned upon its head. Rather than creating an artificial environment to suit a leisure space, they decided to refocus and latch on the idea of a leisure space that would fit an urban area. Rather than reference an old concept of leisure, the focus was now on how that leisure space could work for us, reinventing it for the city, and creating an area rich with excitement and experimentation. Thus, the urban farm concept for PS1 was born.

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We hope that most of the concept actually gets built as the designers intended, and we can’t wait to check the results out this summer. At the very least, it shows that even on temporary spaces, brand new ways of thinking, can green the city. And for those who live in the old continent, Work Architecture will be speaking at the Winter Nights talks in London, so if you are around, you may wish to check them out.

+ Betting a Farm Would Work in Queens

+ Work Architecture

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6 Comments

  1. arch arch February 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    workers will apparently harvest through empty cylinders. more details here: http://archrecord.construction.com/news/daily/archives/080213ps1.asp

  2. Tufani February 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Congratulations! There must be a reasons for the bridge-like structure and barrel-like planters, other than aesthetics.

    How do artists find opportunities to submit designs like this? We are investigating a PV textile design inspired by the SOFTHOUSE.

  3. waqar February 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    beautiful work of art. just the looks promoto green.

  4. b February 15, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    seems quite impractical

    how on earth will a gardener attend to any of the plants?
    “soil” is heavy especially when wet seems too much of a load for damp cardboard even if coated..

  5. sproutfarm February 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    can you walk on top of the canopy? who does the farming, does anyone know?? can anyone help themselves to the produce??

  6. toronto February 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    How do you harvest from the containers, though?

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