ULI New York Blog

ULI’s Young Leaders Experience the Party Wall at MoMA PS1

Party Wall MoMA PS1Long Island City, NY – Each summer, MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) erects an architectural pavilion in the PS1 gravel and concrete courtyard to celebrate its summer concert series.  Now in its 14th edition, YAP has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to   challenge the use and perception of space.

This years winner, CODA (Caroline O’Donnell – Ithaca, NY) designed the temporary urban landscape, challenging the perception of space, “participations”, and light.  The appropriately titled Party Wall is an imposing and playful structure that interacts with shadows, water, and space.

“Architecture should be something you read,” says Caroline O’Donnell. Party Wall’s canopy-like style is specifically designed to cast a shadow.  The design produced a long, narrow “partition”, which CODA broke up into several segments that form the letters W-A-L-L.   Furthermore, Party Wall’s wood-and-steel loftily presence casts all kinds of shade, yet its footprint occupies less than 1% of the courtyard’s area, challenging our typical notion of space and light.

At various locations, shallow stages of reclaimed wood weaves around Party Wall’s base to create a series of micro-stages for performances of varying types and scales. Directly under the structure, pools of water and mist serve as refreshing cooling stations that can also be covered to provide additional staging space or an “intimate” shaded area from the direct sunlight, according to O’Donnell.

MoMA PS1 TourThe porous facade is constructed of nearly 3,000 repurposed skateboards adjoined to a massive self supporting steel frame, balanced in place by nearly 10 tons of weighted blue water balloons.

In addition to the Party Wall’s playful and artistic structure, the interactive lower portion is constructed of nearly 120 repurposed skateboards that are able to “shed” from the structure and offer seating and/or tables during concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings, and other events. The makeshift benches and seats are affixed to the structure by circular magnets while repurposed softrucks, a typical practice tool for skateboarders that offers stability and balance while eliminating rolling, are used to balance the board, similar to legs on a chair or table.

Party Wall will be on display at MoMA’s PS1 until August 31, 2013.


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