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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PS1 Blow Up

One of the finalists in this year's PS1 Young Architects Program (won by MOS in an announcement earlier today) is Brooklyn's Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC Architecture) and their Summer Blow Up entry.

blowup1.jpg
[image by BSC Architecture | image source]

The architects "call for a renewed excitement about the joys of lightness, precision and efficiency," echoing Bucky Fuller's sentiment with "an absolute economy of physical material." Seven interconnected, inflatable torus shapes overhead make up the design, with wading pools below echoing the circular shapes. Overlapping and set at varying heights, the "clouds" allow for the requisite shade asked for by PS1.

blowup2.jpg
[image by BSC Architecture | image source]

One of the interesting aspects of BSC's design is how the "entire weight of Blow Up is less than 2,000lbs and can fit in the back of a pickup truck." The idea of lightness extends to the transportation of building materials, something typically overlooked when ideas of sustainable design are considered. Even the energy required to keep the clouds inflated (a la the snowmen that take over front yards at Christmas time) would have came been bought from upstate wind farms. Less than ideal, but considerate nevertheless.

blowup3.jpg
[image by BSC Architecture | image source]

Probably the most appealing aspect of the design, though, is that something so light (fabric and air) can have so much visual weight. Compared to the winning design, this one appears more anchored and rooted than MOS's design which will be executed in aluminum and thatch. Bucky would've been proud.

3 comments:

  1. There was a very good inflatable runner up in 2007 as well.
    For some reason the jury of this competition seem to always like some form or dome or tent structure.

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  2. This entry, unlike most entries, can also be "constructed" almost entirely off-site. It's one of the only PS1 Prefabs I can think of.

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  3. What I like about this entry is that it is "site considered" but not "site specific".

    Which is to say that it could be re-used in another location without being destroyed, and I think there is a lot of value in that.

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