Since 2010, FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York have hosted a competition to design and construct the ‘City of Dreams’ Pavilion on Governors Island, NY. The theme looks to the future – of cities, people and crucially, to our relationship with materials and the sustainability of our environment.
As a response to this year’s competition, Madrid-based architecture firm Izaskun Chinichilla Architects have visualized a future which is colourful, hopeful, and optimistic…structures based on nature, a future made from reused umbrellas and bike wheels and open to everyone!Inspired by nature, Chinchilla’s ‘City of Dreams’ aims at creating an innovative and flexible solution that directly engages with local communities and familiar materials. The structure is based on the morphology of the hydrangea plant and the shape of the mophead flowers which resemble domes. The number of mophead flowers that can be found in a plant depends on several factors like age, orientation, humidity, light or quality of the soil and the plant grows keeping a good balance with the environment.“Similar to a hydrangea plant, architecture has to learn to adapt to uncertain budgets, social changes and ecological dynamics. The philosophy of an organic growth: keeping ideas flexible so that can be adapted to real necessities, becomes crucial. This logic also provides a biophilic aspect to our proposal. Learning from nature helps taking care of human well-being naturally, beautifully and intuitively.” Archtiect Izaskun Chinchilla explains
The City of Dreams Pavilion is created using recycled materials, including broken umbrellas, old stools, wrecked bicycle and car rims sourced from several institutions within the greater New York area. The architect has proposed that all the elements used in building the structure could be repurposed after dismantling and for this reason it has been fabricated by putting together self supported smaller units. While branches composed of umbrellas and tripods, as well as stools, could be reused as weather protectors on windows, terraces or outdoor spaces all around the city, bigger elements could be used as indoor chandeliers.
Currently on display at the Governors Island in NYC, the structure creates a vibrant social space for over 50 people to come together and learn about the arts programs on the island, engage with performances or lectures, and the historic context of Governors Island.
All Images © Sergio Reyes