BMW Guggenheim Lab to launch in NYC
On May 13th BMW and Guggenheim announced the launch of a six-year project, The BMW Guggenheim Lab, aimed at developing new ideas for urban living. The project officially kicks off 3rd August in New York City with an installation designed by Japanese architect, Atelier Bow Wow. To be located on a vacant lot in the East Village, the mobile structure will play host to a series of events and programs aimed at making the city more livable before moving on to Berlin in 2012 and then on to Asia.
Atelier Bow-Wow’s pop up structure, which is dubbed the ‘traveling toolbox’ and based on the Lab’s initial theme of ‘Confronting Comfort’, is conceived as an open-air loft. The lower half of the structure, which is inspired by a Mediterranean loggia, will be kept open most of the time. The upper part of the structure is designed as a stage-like environment.
Wrapped in a transparent mesh skin, it will house a flexible rigging system that can be raised and lowered to accommodate a variety of programs including lectures, performances and film screenings. The structure’s transparency will allow visitors to catch glimpses of the various performances while observing the inner workings of the rigging apparatus itself as it moves up and down to meet to the needs of each event. Smaller structures located nearby will house restrooms and a café.
In conjunction with the installation, the Lab has launched a new website on which guests can post their suggestions for ways to make New York more comfortable, which so far have included everything from ‘serve free ice cream’ to ‘wider sidewalks’. When the Lab closes, the improvements made to the lot in which the structure sat will be kept in place, ‘allowing a formerly unusable city space to become an accessible public park’.