Video: Flexible pavilion design wins MoMA and P.S.1 Young Architects Program

January 26, 2010

A flexible pavilion that responds to human participation, designed by emerging practice SO-IL, has won the Young Architects Program.

A flexible pavilion characterised by an open net supported by a sequence of 25-foot-tall poles has won the 2010 MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program.

The program, a joint venture between the Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, is an important opportunity for emerging architects to design and create innovative projects in the public sphere. Now in its eleventh year, the five finalists were asked to design a temporary urban landscape for the P.S.1 courtyard entrance.

Brooklyn-based SO-IL’s winning design, entitled _Pole Dance_, is an interactive, dynamic structure that is shaped by the activity of the visitors to the courtyard.

The design is conceived as a “participatory environment that reframes the conceptual relationship between humankind and structure,” in which the flexible poles and bungees move in response to human action and environmental factors. The movement will cause the net above to ripple and droop down over the courtyard, while dozens of multi-coloured balls sitting on top of the net are shifted around.

SO-IL PS1 Pole Dance from SO-IL on Vimeo.

At two points, the net dips down to the ground, surrounding a pool and a sandpit. The net also stabilises the structure, ensuring that the flexible poles don’t exceed a predetermined pivot.

Described as “playful and sincere at once,” the jury praised the winning design for its use of simple materials and elegant engineering, and a design inspired by the interactive experience of social media and computer games that engages with the visitor.

SO-IL beat other shortlisted practices BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark), EASTON+COMBS (Brooklyn, New York), FREECELL (Brooklyn, New York), and William O’Brian Jr. (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

SO-IL (Solid Object Idenburg Liu), founded in 2007 by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, have completed projects including a house for designer Ivan Chermayeff in New York; a shell-shaped wedding chapel in Nanjing, China; a contemporary art museum near The Hague; and a project space for Kukje Gallery in Seoul. They are also part of a team working alongside Diller Scofidio + Renfro in a competition to design the new facilities for the Netherlands Dance Theatre.

Previous winners of the program include ShoP, ROY, William E. Massie, Tom Wiscombe/EMERGENT, nARCHITECTS, Xefirotarch, OBRA, Ball-Nogues, WORKac and MOS.

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