AN visits the installation of the 2019 tropical program for young architects at MoMA PS1

The 20e the iteration of the Young Architects (YAP) program at MoMA PS1 opens today, and The architect’s journal took a look at the imposing facility ahead of time.

This year’s winners, Mexico City-based Pedro y Jauna (and engineer Arup), set up 40-foot-high scaffolding in Long Island City’s main museum plaza, with a tropical panorama and towering waterfall. Horama rama float this “jungle” above a forest of scaffolding, with hand-woven hammocks from southern Mexico suspended between the columns.

A recirculating waterfall provides ambient noise throughout the yard. (Jonathan Hilburg /A)

The natural comparisons don’t end there; while the 90-foot-wide cyclorama’s inner ring features images of lush jungle, the outer ring features a wall of two-by-six engineered wood beams, each topped with a touch of blue ribbon. On the ground, the duo behind Pedro y Jauna, Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, have scattered square benches made of the same material, and at first glance they appear to be piles of unfinished wood but ultimately turn out to be even more seats. Hanging work lights have been installed in the pavilion to illuminate it at night, thus enhancing the atmosphere of the construction site.

Close-up view of a textile decorated with jungle plants and monkeys
Detailed view of the fabric covering the inner ring of the installation. (Jonathan Hilburg /A)

The entire structure has been designed to be light and permeable while providing shade against the harsh summer sun, in accordance with the specifications of the PS1. Hanging hammocks have been hung in every nook and cranny of the courtyard, providing quieter respites for visitors who choose to explore the space. The most ubiquitous feature is the “infinite” waterfall in the center of Horama rama, which constantly recirculates water. As Reuss explained, the waterfall is not for cooling off (although it does splash and mist quite a bit), but to infuse the space with the sound of running water.

A man and a woman in front of a scaffolding
Mecky Reuss, left, and Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo, right. (Jonathan Hilburg /A)

Horama rama will remain installed until September 2 and will host the popular PS1 game Warm-up concert series– the first in the independent music series will take place on July 6. If you would like to see the five finalists in this year’s YAP competition, MoMA has installed models and diagrams of each inside the PS1 building itself. This exhibit usually takes place at the MoMA proper, but with the Manhattan branch closed for the summer, the Queens branch is hosting it instead.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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