FIGMENT is a free participatory art event held on the first weekend of June on governor's island attracting thousands of participants every year. In 2011, Benjamin Jones built FIGMENT’s first treehouse that encompasses a spectacular oak tree. Over the course of 5 years and with overwhelming success, people from all around New York escaped from the city to play, relax and interact with the treehouse, art and nature.
Now, we were asked to continue the treehouse legacy.
FELIX presents the next step in the evolution of the treehouse. Our design intent is to have FELIX become the seed for a new type of treehouse, which can grow for the next 5 years by aggregating over the landscape, creating a dynamic playscape for everyone to enjoy. Taking inspiration from the nature, we propose a flexible modular system based upon standard wood members which are eco- friendly, reusable and mass produced. The pavilion is designed as an accessible installation by nature, of nature, and for nature.
You can relax in the mesh pockets surrounding the tree, meander underneath and explore the variety of interior spaces that will house art from local artists. FELIX offers new perspectives and spatial opportunities for people to engage with art, the tree, Governors Island, and New York City.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a team of 12 architecture graduate students who are currently designing and will be building FELIX on Governors Island under the guidance of practicing architects, Mark Bearak and Jordan Meerdink.
- James Brillon
- Mengze Chen
- Arianna Deane
- Mira De Avila-Shin
- Bingyu Guan
- Benjamin Hochberg
- Coco Ke Shi
- Christopher Tomasetti
- Taiwei Wang
- Xiaoyu Wang
- Angela Yang
- Zhengyang “Echo” Yue
FIGMENT is a not-for-profit organization entirely funded by grants, individual donations and fundraisers like this one. As a team of architecture students, Project FELIX also depends on financial and material donations and funding from this Kickstarter campaign.
FELIX presents the opportunity to plant a new seed at Governors Island where for the next 5 years, students like ourselves will continue to add to FELIX’s growth as a playscape. However, without your support, we cannot build upon FIGMENT’s treehouse legacy.
We need your help in realizing our design, FELIX,which can be experienced in a variety of different ways as a fun place to hang and enjoy Governors Island, not only during FIGMENT but throughout the year. Thus, your support is not only support for FELIX, but also an investment in Governors Island and New York City Parks!
WHAT WILL YOUR CONTRIBUTION SUPPORT?
All donations are tax-deductible and will go towards raw materials for building FELIX. In addition, donations will be used for transportation costs to Governors Island and maintenance throughout the year.
Risks and challenges
Project FELIX is fully aware of the risks and challenges that our project will create. Mark Bearak is a licensed architect who has also taught numerous classes on fabrication and prototyping pavilions, and everyone on our team has had fabrication experiences in both the professional and academic worlds that range from working on building small-scale pavilions to contributing to MOMA PS1 installations to a building a house in Ghana.
Our biggest challenge is making sure that FELIX is a safe structure for people to hang around and remain safe for the next 5 years. We are currently working with a structural engineer to make sure that the structure is sound, and we are currently specifying our netting that will come from manufacturers that produce fabrics for playgrounds or circus tents. We will only use sustainable and safe products when treating the wood.
We have the opportunity to test out one module off-site weeks before FIGMENT, and so that will give us the time to test out the module and make edits before assembling on-site. We have already tested out our structural module (which is great for gymnastics btw!), and we are currently working on mock-ups of the foundation and wood connections.
Project FELIX and our collaboration with FIGMENT is a very unique opportunity for us as architecture students in New York City. Everything is a learning experience, but with the guidance of Mark Bearak and Jordan Meerdink as well as the energetic diligence from everyone on our team, we are confident that we can deliver an exciting experience for you this summer and for the years to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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