Friday, September 17, 2010

"Living Pavilion," Planted Milk Crate Art Installation on Governor's Island

This is the LIVING PAVILION, installed on Governor's Island for the entire summer season. The installation is the winner of the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition 2010, and is designed by Ann Ha and Behrang Behin. The competition sponsors (FIGMENT, The Emerging New York Architects Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (ENYA), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY)) worked with the winning team to have the Living Pavilion on Governors Island for the summer season.

Ann Ha and Behrang Behin of Living Pavilion imagine a future in which nature is brought back into the city – not replacing its dense vitality, but adding some ‘green’ to the mix. Technologies such as green roofs and green walls will reduce heat-island effect and mitigate storm water runoff. Urban farms will provide nutritious locally grown produce to urban dwellers while making them more aware of where their food comes from. These developments will not only have a positive impact on the city’s environmental footprint, but will also enrich the lives of New Yorkers: they will add a new dimension to the urban experience, making possible new forms of spatial and architectural expression.

Living Pavilion is a low-tech, low-impact installation that employs milk crates as the framework for growing planted surface similar to a green wall. Living Pavilion aspires to create a synthesis of form, structure, light and life. The pavilion’s surface is planted with hanging shade-tolerant plants that will provide an environment maintained at a cooler temperature because of evapotranspiration from the plants. At the end of the season, the pavilion’s modular design will allow easy disassembly and distribution of the planted milk crates to the New York area for use in homes, public places, and community gardens.

Ann Ha received a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008 and also holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida. Her GSD thesis, entitled Reinterpreting Governors Island, envisioned a strategy for adaptive reuse of the historic structures on the island by integrating landscape and architecture at different scales. She has worked at several U.S. architecture firms, including Single Speed Design, Maryann Thompson Architects, Marpillero Pollak Architects, and currently Workshop for Architecture.

Behrang Behin is trained as an engineer and architect, and takes an interdisciplinary, synthetic approach to design. He received a Master in Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008, after which he continued as an Aga Khan Fellow to study the intersection of technology, architecture, and sustainable urbanism. He has worked on international projects at several U.S. design firms, including Office dA, Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D., REX, and currently Ennead Architects. Behrang also holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley and a B.S. in Applied Physics from Yale.
(Information from

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