FIGMENT, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to interactive art experiences, in partnership with the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee and the Structural Engineering Association of New York have selected BanG studio’s Billion Oyster Pavilion as the winner of this year’s “City of Dreams” Pavilion international design competition. What makes this pavilion exceptional is its forward look towards restoring the waterways of the very city it shall be built in.
By partnering with the New York Harbor School, a unique vocational school located directly on Governor’s Island, BanG’s pavilion has been designed such that all its materials can be reused by the school’s reef restoration classes to repopulate the oysters around the island.
Oyster restoration is done primarily through two distinct mechanisms; Oyster Condos and Reef Balls. BanG’s pavilion integrates these two methods to construct the dome and the walls of their structure respectively. The canopy top is made exclusively by rebar triangles and woven marine line that will be reassembled as oyster condos once the pavilion is dismantled. The intricate weave has been developed through large scale mock ups to create a playful canopy that will delight the public for the summer months. For the walls, BanG has designed custom concrete structures that have the requisite pH to support oyster growth and maximize surface area while have ample penetrations to allow for adequate water flow. The reef balls have been designed in two different sizes so as to create expressive overlapping in the stacking of the curved pavilion wall. Using 3D printing, BanG has produced prototypes of the reef balls using various concrete mixes.
The formal language of the Billion Oyster Pavilion is inspired by the particular anatomy of an oyster. Its curving form defines two spaces which invite the public to take shelter under the colorful woven canopy, relax in the patterned shadows and play and explore as you weave through, and around the ‘reef ball’ walls.
The primary space of the BOP allows for the public to enjoy performances during the arts festival either from underneath the intricately patterned woven canopy or from the outside looking in through the permeable walls. The space is accessed either through the main entrance or via a narrow second entryway that forces an intimate interaction between visitor and structure accentuating the layering of materials. This small space, juxtaposed against the larger performance space, offers a very different way of reading the scale of the pavilion and its unique elements. Its nature offers a rare sense of solitude during the buzzing arts festival.
The Pavilion will be both an exciting backdrop to an array of varied events and performances, but it is also an educational tool, which will showcase for the public two exciting techniques being used to re store New York’s waters. FIGMENT NYC is a not-for profit arts organization, and all of their money comes from donations and fundraising efforts. The Billion Oyster Project (also not-for-profit) will benefit greatly from all of the donated material and publicity this project will generate. In order to make the Billion Oyster Pavilion a reality there is a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, please follow this link: http://b-an-g.com/BOP.html to learn more about the project, share it with others and/or donate. This pavilion is not only an investment in the Figment Arts Festival, it is an investment in New York Harbor and our incredibly unique marine culture.