Architects will soon suspend this cellulose fiber canopy made from discarded paper in Boston

Architecture Art Awards East Newsletter On View
(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

Recognizing architects’ increased use of installations for experimentation and prototyping, the “Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building” competition awards project proposals that use the medium for spatial exploration.

This year’s selected winner is The Pulp Canopy by Katie Donahue and Mason Limke of MYKA, who explore architectural applications of cellulose fiber (paper pulp), considered the “most abundant raw material on the planet.” The architects collected discarded paper products, transformed them into pulp and reshaped the pliable mulch into modules of varying thinness, transparency, and texture.

(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

(Image courtesy of Bigger than a Breadbox competition)

Originally conceptualized as The Pulp Wall, Donahue and Limke reimagined it as a canopy for the competition, which requires entrants to re-envision a previous installation in the context of the competition brief rather than produce an original proposal. The work of art will hang from the ceiling in the lobby of the Boston Society of Architects headquarters at 290 Congress Street.

In the meantime, the honorable mention teams such as Beta-Field, Alibi Studio, Justin Diles, and Studio Modo, are also preparing their projects for exhibition in Bigger than a Breadbox, opening June 17. The exhibition as a whole examines the “appropriation” of installation in contemporary architectural practice as an investigative tool for experimenting with new materials and technologies.

Space constraints are part of the challenge: the double-height lobby of the building allows for an installation covering 150 square feet of floor space and extending up to 8 feet high. A further stipulation is that the installation must actively engage building occupants and visitors to the gallery.

Winning designs for “Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building 2015” were selected by the following jury members:

  • Benjamin Ball, Ball-Nogues Studio (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Shauna Gilles-Smith, Ground (Boston, MA)
  • Monica Ponce de Leon, MPdL Studio (Ann Arbor, MI; New York, NY; Boston, MA)
  • Jenny Sabin, Jenny Sabin Studio (Philadelphia, PA)
  • J. Frano Violich, Kennedy Violich Architecture, Ltd. (Boston, MA)
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