New York, NY – A distinguished jury has selected the winning design in the seventh-annual City of Dreams Pavilion Competition: Oculi by Austin+Mergold in collaboration with Maria Park (Cornell) and consulting engineers Chris Earls (Cornell) and Scott Hughes (Silman). This temporary art structure will be assembled on Governors Island and open to the public for the summer 2018 season.
The annual competition is hosted by 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). The City of Dreams Pavilion, so named for its focus on the future of a world that faces strains on both economic and natural resources, aims to promote sustainability-oriented thinking amidst the architecture and design communities.
The winning proposal will reuse old metal grain bins (silos), vestiges of the American agro-industrial age, hearkening back to how the medieval inhabitants of Rome reoccupied the remains of the Ancient Empire-with a bizarre combination of pragmatism and poetry. The grain bin is our contemporary spolia; as such these structures can be both useful and fanciful.
Maria Park, Color Studies for Oculi, 2017
This project will reuse old metal grain bins (silos) which dot the fields of upstate New York. These bins will be brought to the city, establishing a visual connection between urban and rural modes of living. A field of elevated oculi will frame unobstructed views of the sky and track the path of the sun, producing a range of shadow patterns augmented by color and sound. The interiors of these suspended rooms will be painted a particular color of the daytime sky, inviting viewers to negotiate their paths below the structures. As viewers look up through the oculi, the colors of the walls of the silo will at times match the color of the sky.
Following the de-installation of Oculi, the bins will be reconstructed as an experimental housing cluster in central New York. There, interior views into the repurposed bins will occasionally reveal colors of a New York City summer sky.
Current Exhibition at Nancy Toomey Fine Art
Maria Park and Branden Hookway – Training Setting
Through April 4, 2018