MoMA PS1 has given us something to look forward to in the warmer months with their announcement that David Benjamin and his firm, The Living, have been chosen as the winners of this year's Young Architects Program (YAP) design competition. The team's proposal, entitled "Hy-Fi", answered the annual outdoor pavilion design call with a combination of biological technology and computer engineering that creates living towers made of 100% organic bricks made of mushrooms roots! The structures will act as a temporary outdoor installation for the museum's popular Warm-Up music series, while demonstrating a carbon footprint of close to nothing.
The planned Hy-Fi towers would be made of organic and reflective bricks: the organic bricks will make up most of the towers’ structures while the reflective bricks would sit atop them. This arrangement would bounce light down on the towers and the ground, reflecting mesmerizing light effects on the interior walls.
The organic nature of the Hy-Fi flips the logic of load-bearing brick construction on its head. Instead of being thick and dense at the bottom, the grown construction material is thin and porous at the bottom to create a gravity-defying effect. These natural building walls would also help establish a more comfortable micro-climate in the summer by drawing in cool air from the bottom and pushing hot air out of the top.
The bricks themselves would be produced using an innovative combination of corn stalks and specially developed living root structures made of mycelium (essentially mushroom roots) invented by Ecovative, a New York-based biomaterials company. Benjamin plans to grow bricks inside of custom made molds using 3M’s daylight mirror film. The Hy-Fi tower offers a familiar yet completely new method of brick construction. We’re looking forward to seeing the towers this summer!
Images © The Living