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The New Guard
Five emerging firms selected as finalists for MoMA/P.S. 1 pavilion.
Afterparty installation by MOS, 2009.
Florian Holzherr / Courtesy MoMA

On November 8, MoMA/P.S. 1 announced the five finalist firms for the annual Young Architects Program. The teams, all of which are based on the East Coast, will compete to design the temporary installation in the P.S. 1 courtyard during the annual “Warm-Up” series. The finalists are CODA from Ithaca, New York; Leong Leong Architects and Moorhead & Moorhead both from New York City; TempAgency from Charlottesville, Virginia and Brooklyn; and French 2D, based in Boston and Syracuse, New York.

Wendy installation by HWKN, 2012 (left) and Holding Pattern by Interboro Partners, 2011 (right).
Courtesy MoMA

While MoMA/P.S. 1’s brief for the project remains constant—to provided seating, shade, and water—design firms over years the have responded with vastly different formal and programmatic approaches, including sculptural shade structures, psychedelic tents, urban farms, and temporary gardens and ping pong tables. Pedro Gadanho, one of the MoMA architecture curators leading the program, said that the East Coast-centric nature of the finalists was purely coincidental, but he was pleased to note that women lead two of the firms. “The demographics of the profession are changing,” he said. “That is bound to produce results in the future.”

Canopy installation by nArtchitects, 2004.
Courtesy MoMA

The program has been widely copied by cultural institutions around the world, but remains one of the most visible platforms for emerging architects in the world. “It’s something that so many architects aspire to. It’s become a filter for young practices,” Gadanho said. The finalist teams will present their proposals in January or February 2013.

Alan G. Brake


Public Farm One by WORK AC, 2008 (left) and Pole Dance All by SO-IL, 2010 (right).
Elizabeth Felicella and Wade Zimmerman / Courtesy MoMA