Canopy, MoMA PS1

Canopy, MoMA PS1

Lead architect

Jorge Pereira

Team

Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang, Sam Dufaux, with Kayt Brumder, Phu Hoang, Claudia Martinho, Marica McKeel, Christopher Rountos, Dayoung Shin, Nik Vekic

Location

Long Island City, Queens, NY, United States

40.744679 | -73.94854240000001

Structure

Markus Schulte, Ove Arup and Partners

Other collaborators

Dave Flanagan, Marie Viljoen

Canopy was a temporary structure in the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s courtyard, built out of freshly cut green bamboo poles that turned from green to tan throughout the summer. The project relies on a singular tectonic system to bind together provisions for overhead shade, seating and varying atmospheres, resulting in what the architects envisage as a ‘deep landscape’ that affects the entire depth of the courtyard. Pinches in the bamboo lattice produce a range of shadow densities and patterns across the courtyard and throughout the day. Dips in the canopy define rooms open to the sky, each with a distinct climatic environment for different modes and scales of lounging: Pool Pad, the largest outdoor room, incorporates a wading pool; Fog Pad consists of fog nozzles that spread a cool halo of mist; Rock Pad is a dry elevated region of gravel, Meeting Pad provides an intimate seat for five, Rainforest features a sound environment and water misters that provide intermittent rain showers; and Sand Hump’s half open ellipse orients itself to maximize exposure to sun and shade.

The project’s practical aims were to provide a unifying spatial experience for these various sizes of crowds; to provide seating, a dance floor, and spaces for play; and to provide relief from the hot summer weather. nARCHITECTS achieved these goals with a 11,000 sf Canopy made with freshly cut green bamboo, built as a precise translation of a 3d computer model. The Canopy provided an armature for 4 different micro-climates, involving 3 different water systems. . The color and atmospheric changes contrasted with the technical precision of a re-mixed natural material – a mutated hybrid of weather + landscape elements.

The project relied on a singular tectonic system to bind together provisions for overhead shade, structure and varying atmospheres, resulting in what the architects envisage as a ‘deep landscape’ that affects the entire depth of the courtyard. Canopy’s freshly cut green bamboo poles turned from green to tan over the summer. Pinches in the undulating lattice produced a range of shadow densities and patterns across the courtyard. Dips in the canopy defined rooms open to the sky, each with a distinct climatic environment for different modes of lounging: Pool Pad incorporated a large foam wading pool; Fog Pad was surrounded by fog nozzles that spread a cool halo of mist on revelers; Rainforest featured a sound environment and water misters that provided intermittent rain showers and randomly soaked the crowd; and Sand Hump’s sandy cove maximized exposure to sun and shade.

Canopy was built in situ over a period of 7 weeks by nARCHITECTS and their team of architecture students and recent graduates. Prior to construction, they spent 6 weeks on site testing each arc type to determine the maximum span, minimum bending radii and overlap dimensions. The structure utilizes 30,800 linear feet of freshly cut green Philostachys Aurea bamboo, spliced and bound together with 37,000 linear feet of stainless steel wire. The initial order of 1,100 bamboo poles was chopped, cleaned and shipped from Georgia in one week, so that it arrived as fresh as possible upon delivery. Once on site, the poles were stored in racks, covered with UV resistant tarp and watered twice a day to keep them green and flexible.