Last week, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute unveiled the winning design of the sixth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition in the flesh. The colorful, “kaleidoscopic” Ziggy lights up the plaza with 27,000 feet of iridescent cord and painted rebar while also serving as seating for visitors. Created by the New York-based architecture and design studio Hou de Sousa, Ziggy encourages a rethinking of how we view and interact with others in public space. “Ziggy is a polyvalent creature that strings together gateways, apertures, and seating,” said Josh de Sousa, principal and co-founder of Hou de Sousa, in a recent press release. “This porous wall will welcome folks arriving from all directions while ringing in the holiday season with a flourish of color and light.” It is described on the designer's website as a "moment of respite" and a "kaleidoscopic beacon, designed for the people of New York." The installation is the centerpiece of the district’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” events, as the pavilion's winding form frames the area’s attractions and landmarks (both the Empire State Building and, of course, the Flatiron Building) while creating filters of shifting color, pattern, and light across all its surroundings. “This competition continues to demonstrate the importance of both public art and programming in DOT public plazas,” said NYC DOT art and event programming director, Emily Colasacco. “Hou de Sousa’s interactive larger-than-life-size configuration will bring even more color to the already vibrant Flatiron district.” Ziggy will be on view and open to the public (weather permitting) through January 1, 2020, at the intersection of Broadway, 5th Avenue, and 23rd Street. Throughout the holidays, the Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #ZiggyFlatiron to share images of the installation on social media for the chance to win prizes from local businesses.
Posts tagged with "Hou de Sousa":
The Manhattan-based architecture firm, Hou de Sousa, is on a winning streak this spring. This past March, the firm won Re-Ball!, a competition to repurpose over 650,000 plastic balls from a previous design exhibit into an installation for an abandoned underground trolley station in Washington D.C. (Their playful and interactive wonderland, titled Raise/RAZE, is set to open April 30.) And now the firm has won this year’s Folly competition in New York, hosted by the Architectural League of New York and the Socrates Sculpture Park. The theme this year was “function,” a break from the themes of years past, that drew from the literal meaning of folly: a blend of architecture and sculpture that doesn’t really serve a useful purpose. (These structures were once popular in 18th century England and French patrician gardens.) While the Folly competition is based in New York, it is open to global emerging architects. Hou de Sousa’s proposal, Sticks, addresses the function theme through an adaptable concept. Using interconnected lumber held together with webbing, the design supports an array of repurposed on-site scrap materials that provide shade and 18 inch deep shelves for possible future art exhibits. Their project takes advantage of an adjacent shipping container to help support the structure. It will serve as "a hub for Socrates Sculpture Park’s Education Studio, which hosts over 10,000 students annually," says the Socrates Sculpture Park in a press release. Hou de Sousa will build their project on site this May and June for a July 9 opening in the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens. IK Studio won the competition last year, with the plywood pavilion Torqueing Spheres. Hou de Sousa’s Folly entry last year, Mochi, garnered a Notable Entry for their colorful domed quilt of ravioli-like inflated plastic bags. The Folly competition is privately and publicly supported, with public funds coming in part from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Re-Ball! winner Hou de Souse reuses 650,000 plastic balls for interactive installation in abandoned D.C. trolley station
It has been a little over two and a half weeks since the last submissions rolled in March 4 for Re-Ball!, an international competition hosted by Dupont Underground. Raise/Raze, the winning design by New York City-based architecture firm Hou de Sousa, emphasizes interactivity and social interaction, inviting users to make their own mark on the building (and destruction) process. Re-Ball! is an organization seeking to bring life to a defunct trolley station under Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. The station opened in 1949 and was abandoned in 1962, when the city stopped its streetcar service. (Though in the 1960s parts were used as a fallout shelter and later a food court.) Dupont Underground signed a five-year lease with the city in 2014, and hopes to create a Low Line-like experience, yet with a more cultural bend, hosting art and design exhibitions, community and educational events. They also want to host pop up restaurants and retail, creative incubators, and more, both temporary and permanent. To start activating the Dupont space and get those creative juices flowing, the competition asked entrants to create a site-specific installation repurposing over 650,000 translucent white plastic balls used in a former National Building Museum installation last summer. They asked entrants to create a design to help fill the 14,000 square foot east platform, now mostly raw concrete and subway tile, beneath Dupont Circle. “The winning entry should be thoughtful, provocative, witty, safe, and executable on a limited budget, in a limited time frame, and within the confines of the site,” Dupont Underground wrote in their competition brief. “Raise/Raze is like sand in a massive sandbox; it allows its users to alter their surroundings with ease,” said the designers in a statement. To see the installation when it opens April 30, you’ll need to make a reservation. Advanced admission tickets are available via the Indiegogo campaign. The installation will run through June 1. Check out the finalists here and a gallery of all proposals over here.
It’s never too early to start planning for the summer. As we head into winter, try to warm yourself up with thoughts of visiting Governors Island, with an iced coffee in one hand and pure, summertime optimism in the other. When you make that dream a reality in a matter of months—on the other side of a polar vortex or two—you will be greeted on the island with a new public pavilion. The City of Dreams Pavilion will be the fifth consecutive installation to come out of a competition hosted by FIGMENT, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, and the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the AIA New York Chapter. While a winning design won't be announced until next month, FIGMENT & Company have unveiled their five finalists. “Our theme for the pavilion, the City of Dreams, points toward the future," said FIGMENT in a statement. "If we imagine a future New York City where anything is possible, what would it look like?" They continued, “In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city?” Take a look at the environmentally-sensitive proposals below and be sure to visit Governors Island to see the finished product in June. The Pulp Pavilion by MegaZoo Melody Rees and Arthur Azoulai According to FIGMENT: "Made from cast paper pulp, this pavilion is constructed out of recycled material and is biodegradable. The cradle to cradle design is comprised of many cone shaped modules that are tightly packed to form a domed archway. On the exterior, the design celebrates the inherent qualities of the fibrous material. On the interior, color is used to celebrate the modularity of the design and filter light to create dramatic and contrasting effect for individuals who reside within. Each cone is cast from a unique and fibrous mix consisting of recycled paper and grass seeds. Its impact is net zero and it actually contributes to the positive biomass of the earth upon demolition. This temporary structure is a showcase for the potentials of new biodegradable material technologies within the design and construction industry." Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG studio Babak Bryan, Henry Grosmanl, and Suzie Betts with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project According to FIGMENT: "Our proposal for the Billion Oyster Pavilion joins two of Governors Island’s most exciting enterprises: Figment’s City of Dreams Pavilion and The New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project. The materials that form the woven canopy (steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps) are specifically used in their harbor restoration work. Additionally, the base of our Pavilion is made up of custom-cast 'Reef Balls,' a restoration device that the school will also use as part of their habitat creation effort. By donating the entire pavilion to the Harbor School, its materials will be completely re-used on the island, eliminating the need to further transport." Tied Together by Hou de Sousa Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa According to FIGMENT: "Tied Together is a pavilion made out of aluminum pipes and strands of rope braided from 38,000 repurposed plastic bags (the amount NYC wastes every 90 seconds). The project provides a venue for events and performances, while serving as a great picnic area, and functioning as an iconic meeting point for visitors to Governors Island. From afar, Tied Together appears to be a solid sculptural object, but from up close, the overlapping composition of rope and linear gaps produces a moiré effect which visually shifts and alters the surrounding landscape as one moves between the pavilion’s spaces. Currently, less than 1% of New York City’s plastic bags are recycled, even though they account for 22% of all the plastics sent to landfills. The NY Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act was passed in 2009 and requires medium to large scale retailers to accept plastic bags for recycling. Tied Together aims to raise awareness for this law and thereby increase its impact." Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez According to FIGMENT: "The natural structures are adaptive and can grow up and down in response to context and time. The morphology of the hydrangea plan has been particularly useful. Mophead flowers are large dome-shaped flower heads. Through it’s growth, the plant maintains a good balance with the environment, shouldn’t the ‘city of dreams’ do the same? Architecture has to learn to adapt to changing social requirements and ecological dynamics. The philosophy of organic growth: maintaining a flexibility of ideas that is adaptive becomes crucial. This logic also generates a biophilic component, learning from nature helps to take care of human wellbeing naturally, beautifully and intuitively." Galassia by Michele Zanella According to FIGMENT: "Galassia is a free standing, geometrically rigorous yet formally expressive, self-sustaining pavilion. The nature of its shape, deriving from the minimal surface generated between two circular loops, is contemporarily expression of maximum structural efficiency and of refined formal completeness. Paced by the array of a bamboo structure and of a densely spaced set of tensed ropes, the pavilion is simultaneously identifying its structural, formal and functional content. Galassia is the depiction of flawless dynamism and internal movements within the city of the future and is the materialization of the concepts of efficiency, sustainability and aesthetic qualities combined together. A pavilion as the architectural crystallization of a collective dream: the process of a sustainable urban metamorphosis." [h/t 6sqft]