After sifting through over 100 design proposals, the team of juries for the seventh annual City of Dreams Pavilion competition has selected Cast & Place by Team Aesop as the design for this year’s Governors Island Pavilion.
The competition, sponsored by art non-profit FIGMENT, AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA), and Structural Engineers Association of New York, asks designers to focus on the environmental and economic impacts of their designs and promote sustainable thinking.
Cast & Place experiments with materiality and fabrication, testing to see if architecture could be constructed entirely from recycled materials. The team’s material pallet consists of 300,000 aluminum cans (the number of cans used in New York City in one hour, according to their Kickstarter), five tons of pure clay sourced from glacial deposits in Queens, and recycled wood.
The pavilion will consist of two shade structures built from aluminum panels cast in cracked clay and will be surrounded by reflecting pools made from the clay formworks. The pools will be soaked by summer rain and then left to dry and crack in the heat, giving the audience a glimpse of the fabrication method for the panels.
The process to create the panels is fairly simple: create molds from the reclaimed wood, fill them with clay, let the clay dry out and crack, and then fill the cracks with molten aluminum from melted-down cans. The canyons of clay become rivers of aluminum that connect to form one cohesive lightweight panel. The panels can then be joined and erected. When the pavilion is no longer in use, the panels can then be turned into benches furniture for the project’s supporters.
So far the team has been able to cast small prototypes of the panels and has been working on methods of drying the clay to create enough cracks for a fully-formed panel. They have also been experimenting with their furnace to find the best method of melting down cans and casting the aluminum.
As they continue to work toward a full-scale prototype, the project is waiting for approval from the city and for funding (via donations and sponsorships). According to their Kickstarter page, the project will require $30,000 to be feasible and the deadline for fundraising is March 27, 2017.
If you are interested in learning more about the pavilion or wish to contribute to the pavilion’s construction, visit the project’s Kickstarter page here.