Every summer for the past 17 years, the Young Architects Program has chosen a designer to transform MoMA PS1’s courtyard in Long Island City, Queens, with a temporary installation. Past winners of this international competition have built giant towers from mushroom-based bricks, misty bamboo wonderlands, and swaying bungee hammocks filled with bouncy balls.
This year’s just-announced winner, Mexico City-based Escobedo Solíz Studio, will weave a colorful canopy over the outdoor space. Thin ropes of pink, green, orange, and yellow will be strung from existing holes in the courtyard’s concrete walls, formed when the concrete was originally poured, and crisscrossed in a shade-giving web. Embankments with platforms of soil and water line the edges of the courtyard. Called “Weaving the Cloud,” the project will also include a reflective wading pool in which visitors can splash around and cool off — it is sure to be a hit with the sweaty drunk hoards that attend the Warm Up events.
Lazbent Pavel Escobedo and Andres Solíz, the architects who cofounded Escobedo Solíz Studio in 2011, describe “Weaving the Cloud” as “neither an object nor a sculpture standing in the courtyard, but a series of simple, powerful actions that generate new and different atmospheres.”
The design is reminiscent of YAP’s 2004 installation, “Canopy,” by nARCHITECTS, which saw the courtyard covered with a latticed bamboo canopy and also included a wading pool. In renderings, it also looks a little like a design-y take on the Web of Connection game, a kids’ birthday party favorite, in which skeins of yarn are webbed around a room.
In keeping with YAP’s focus on sustainable architecture and environmentalism, the materials from the installation will be reused once it’s taken down at summer’s end.
“Weaving the Cloud” will open in the MoMA PS1 courtyard on June 6th.