Thanks to an indecisive jury, FIGMENT’s annual City of Dreams Pavilion Competition will result in not one, but two—count ’em, two—art installations at Governor’s Island this summer. Apparently, after four hours of deliberating the jurors couldn’t pick between between two finalists so they decided to just go with both.
Billion Oyster Pavilion. (Courtesy BanG Studio)
The Billion Oyster Pavilion by the Long Island City–based BanG Studio draws from the New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project—which partners with the Governors Island Alliance—to restore one billion live oysters to the New York Harbor. Drawing from materials used in the school’s work, the pavilion’s woven canopy is made of steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps. The base of the pavilion has custom-cast “Reef Balls,” which are a sort of restoration device that can be used to create oyster habitats. After the summer season, BanG Studio’s pavilion will be donated to the Harbor School and its materials will be given new use on the island.
The Organic Growth Pavilion (top) comes from Izaskun Chinchilla Architects of Madrid and London and is said to be inspired by flowers that can actively respond to the natural environment—like hydrangeas. To replicate that type of responsiveness, Izaskun Chinchilla uses broken objects like umbrellas, stools, and bicycle wheels and crafts them into flower-like structures. As with the Billion Oyster Pavilion, the materials used in Organic Growth can be reused after the pavilion is dismantled. The designers envision the broken umbrellas and larger elements from the pavilion as sun and shade protection devices for public spaces in New York or as decorative chandeliers.
As exciting as it may be to get two pavilions this summer, nothing is a done deal quite yet because of, you guessed it, cost. To raise funds for the two pavilion, FIGMENT is accepting donations and a Kickstarter will likely be launched sometime soon.
The competition is a joint effort of FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).