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Urban Beach to be unveiled in P.S. 1 outdoor courtyard

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The objective of the Young Architects Program is to identify and provide an outlet for emerging young talent in architecture, an ongoing mission of both MoMA and P.S.1. The contestants were instructed to make the best use of P.S.1’s outdoor courtyard, remaining within the allotted project budget of $60,000.

Wiscombe will realize his vision for the “urban beach” project, which provides shade and cool water basins during the day and transforms into a giant horizontal lantern at night. As in past years, the project will become the venue for Warm Up, the popular music series held annually in P.S.1’s courtyard. Wiscombe’s project is expected to be complete by late June.

To choose an architect for this project, experts in the field of architecture — including architects, curators, academics, and magazine editors — nominated 25 candidates from a pool of both recent graduates and established architects experimenting with new styles or techniques.

Five finalists presented proposals to a panel comprised of Glenn D. Lowry, director, The Museum of Modern Art; Alanna Heiss, director, P.S.1; Terence Riley, chief curator, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator, P.S.1; and Antoine Guerrero, director of operations, P.S.1.

In addition to Wiscombe, the finalists selected by the panel were Cho Slade, Ellinger/Yehia Design, Rogers Marvel, and SYSTEMarchitects.

“Tom Wiscombe’s project promises to be an extremely skillful and inventive transformation of P.S.1’s public spaces,” Riley said. “The quality of Wiscombe’s proposal, as well as that of the four finalists, is a testament to the growing reputation of the Young Architects Program as well as the remarkably mature skills of this particular generation.”

“Of the many exciting collaborations undertaken since P.S.1 became affiliated with MoMA, one of the most interesting is the Young Architects Program,” Heiss said. “Tom Wiscombe’s imaginative project will transform our courtyard into a refreshing urban beach this summer.”

Wiscombe’s proposal is inspired by sails, kites, and other tension structures traditionally found at the beach that exploit or modulate dynamic forces like wind and sunlight. It is also motivated by natural formations, such as tide pools and open-air canopies that provide shade from the sun.

The design is defined by two elements: a translucent, permeable roof of interconnected canoe-like shapes that will cover portions of P.S.1’s courtyard, and a leisure landscape with two long pools that creates new passageways through the monumental courtyard, provides an escape from the New York heat, and offers new spaces for swimming and lounging.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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