An organic relationship

Wednesday 22 Sep 2010

Behin + Ha's Living Pavilion spends the summer on Governors Island

In a show of classic community spirit, over seventy volunteers from New York have given up their time to carry a sustainable pavilion by Behin + Ha through to realisation. ‘Living Pavilion’ is the winning entry in a competition - ‘City of Dreams Pavilion’ - run by participatory arts organisation 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) to design and install an architectural pavilion on Governors Island for the length of the summer.

Constructed over a period of three weeks – first in New Jersey and then on Governors Island – Living Pavilion is ‘low-tech, low-impact’ architectural installation, formed almost entirely from milk crates and natural flora. Similar to a green wall, the plants were inserted into the milk crates to provide a ‘synthesis of form, structure, light and life’, largely composed of hanging shade-tolerant plants. Because of its ingenious construction techniques, the installation can be easily disassembled as the summer draws to a close and the planted milk crates distributed across New York.

In terms of the construction process, Behin + Ha explain: “CNC routing the plywood ribs allowed us to incorporate features that registered all of the parts in the assembly, eliminating any time-consuming manual alignment steps and expediting the assembly process.” Not only did the act of voluntary construction bring members of the local community together with a common goal, but the design itself ‘strives to embody and communicate an ethic of reuse, recycling and re-purposing’, quietly educating passing members of the public on the ease and accessibility of sustainable design.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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