Have you ever wondered what happens to the scrap material created when a skateboard deck is cut out of sheet of wood? Probably not, but CODA definitely has, and they've embraced that negative space by recycling it into a big positive - their "Party Wall", which opened last night at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. The Ithaca-based architecture firm won this year's Young Architects Program competition to design a party pavilion for PS1's summer Warm-Up performance series by impressing the judges with their smart shade-giving structure and novel use of recycled materials. But they also incorporated some really innovative features like a transforming facade that doubles as furniture and giant blue teardrops that mist and spray revelers to keep them cool. If you weren't able to make it to the opening of the Party Wall yesterday, check out our photo gallery to see all of our favorite parts of this playful pavilion.
Going to a MoMA PS1 Warm Up party is something of a right of passage for New Yorkers, but there’s a reason they named it that. The courtyard has a grey gravel floor and virtually no natural shade, so the crowd may be cool but the actual temps are anything but. Thusly, one of the main criteria of the Young Architects Program competition is that pavilion designs be able to provide ample shade for as much of the courtyard as possible. CODA was able to meet this challenge with their “Party Wall” by studying the movement of light throughout the day and creating a structure that maximized the amount of shade available to party-goers without taking up too much space.
In addition to keeping us from melting, Party Wall has some other really intriguing features. The first is the perforated facade made of scrap wood generated from the skateboard manufacturing process. The leftover wood was donated by Ithaca-based skateboard company Comet and, let us know if you disagree, but we think CODA did a fantastic job of making the waste pieces look quite deliberate and not really “recycled” at all.
The second element that had people smiling was water. A misting “tunnel” that envelops whomever stand beneath it with cool, water-saturated air should be a hit at the first Warm Up, and for those needing a little more excitement, a spontaneous water spray also shoots out of the Party Wall at sporadic intervals. Last but not least, CODA laced the pavilion’s underbelly with a calming oasis of shallow pools where revelers can escape from the sun and dip their feet if they like.
The shade and refreshing splash of water certainly made us feel better about visiting the Party Wall on a hot June day, but when it came time to have a seat, we were a bit perplexed. But being the investigative journalists that we are here at Inhabitat, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We knew that seating was one of PS1’s criteria for the pavilion, so it had to be present somewhere. After a bit of poking and prodding, we found it – right on the Party Wall’s facade! It turns out – and it was really interesting to see other guests discovering this too – that the lower portion of the pavilion’s “skin” is capable of shedding 120 panels, that actually have legs and can be detached to use as benches, tables and other furniture.
Party Wall will open to the public on June 28, so don’t miss your chance to go and check it out for yourself and please let us know what you think of the design in the comments below.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda