DID YOU KNOW?
The recycling rate for plastic cups is negligible. After any given event in New York City, hundreds of disposable cups get left behind to sit in landfills.
The “Governors Cup” pavilion, a serpentine structure made of 30,000 reclaimed plastic cups, is supported by a cluster of trees on the Governor's Island Parade Ground. It transforms the prosaic, overlooked and discarded into a site specific, ephemeral gathering space. The pavilion will host more than 200,000 visitors during the four month summer festival. This outdoor room and gateway will create an airborne topography of refracted light and shadow. Ever present harbor winds will animate the public space with shimmering movement and sound.
The pavilion's translucent and reflective materials magically catch light. It's crochet-inspired tape structure continuously redirects lines of sight. The form comes from the interplay of a densely stitched structural spine and a lacy infill. Each cup is perforated to keep the structure light-weight. These holes make the ever-changing color of the sky visible from below.
Aside from being beautiful, CDR’s Governors Cup demonstrates the transformative potential of what we normally consider waste. Light-weight, resilient, and inexpensive, the pavilion design prototypes a shade structure with potential for future application.
The City of Dreams Competition is organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) committee for Emerging New York Architects (ENYA), the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) and FIGMENT NYC a non-profit arts organization. The brief required that the pavilion employ recycled or recyclable materials, be constructed off site, and transported by water taxi to the island. Of the 200 entries, CDR Studio’s submission was chosen as the winner.
"The jury appreciates how the pavilion is artistically conceived. For the overall canopy, the jury can foresee interesting patterns developing in the grass below, both from the sunlight and from drip patterns. Staying in line with the goal to have a net zero impact on the environment, the jury complimented the fact that [your team] is planning to move the installation to [another space] after the summer season ends."
SO THIS IS HOW WE’LL MAKE IT:
Public participation, the heart of the project, has already begun. We have many, many cups to collect, clean, customize and fasten together. If you live in NYC and want to join us to make this artwork happen sign up to volunteer here.
1. CUP COLLECTION - CDR Studio has been collecting plastic cups using temporary depositories at large public events, cultural institutions and office spaces. Every single cup contributes to the design.
2. PRE-FABRICATION - First cups will be cleaned, punched, and glued together. Next, they get zip tied into modules that will be arranged to form the tape structure. To form the billowing shapes, connections will vary from top to bottom, through tighter and looser zip-tie loops. This also provides structural flexibility in two directions. The pavilion will be pre-assembled at CDR’s office in eight distinct sections.
3. ON SITE INSTALLATION - The sections will be transported to Governors Island. Once there, heavy duty fishing line interwoven through the structure will tie together the eight sections and reinforce the pavilion.
The center portion will be staked and weighted to the ground. The rest of the canopy will tie upward into to the trees. The island arborist and professional riggers will help us attach the cups to branches and tree-trunks. The trees will have cinching tree straps to protect the bark. The tree-anchored connections use fishing wire, spike hitches and bowman’s knots.
Even though the materials for the project will be collected and donated, this pavilion takes more than free cups! Your contribution will cover our costs for things like zip-ties, glue, fishing wire and belts (for tree attachments). We need to buy hole saw bits as well as pay the arborist and rigging team to safeguard trees and all the volunteers during the installation. We need funds for storage, transportation and travel; organization of the workshops and work on the island; maintenance of the Governor’s Cup Pavilion (it will be up for four months!); and then, of course, the disassembly. $10k is the minimum we need to make this happen, with more funds collected, the pavilion can continue to grow throughout the summer along an arcade of trees along the edge of the parade ground.
ABOUT OUR TEAM
Founded in 1995, CDR Studio is a full-service architectural firm with a diverse and creative staff committed to sustainable design. Our work covers a range spanning public, institutional, educational, commercial and residential projects. The word “Studio” is a central part of our name. We create teams and collaborations that give form to the concerns of each project. A signature or style is not what we are about. We are interested in the evolution of a project. We build upon and nurture the process. We do not believe in one-liner concepts or the reductive binary of form and function in our work. The essential aspect of sustainability is the creation of intelligent, long-lasting buildings that offer dignity and delight in an increasingly anxious world.
FIGMENT is a free participatory arts event held in 13 cities in three countries on two continents, and attracting tens of thousands of participants each year. FIGMENT celebrates an abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artists and our communities to find new ways to create, share, think and dream.
ENYA, AIA New York Chapter
It is the goal of the Emerging New York Architects Committee to encourage membership, participation, and leadership in the AIA New York Chapter among intern architects, young architects (licensed 10 years or less), and emerging professionals in the fields of design and construction. The committee engages NYC’s diverse emerging design professionals through lectures, design competitions, and networking opportunities, with a focus on professional development, design excellence, and public outreach.
The AIA New York Chapter is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Archtiects. The Chapter’s members include over 4,800 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. The AIA New York Chapter is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.
SEAoNY is a member organization of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations. Presently, 39 states and the District of Columbia have structural engineers’ associations, the largest of which is SEAOC, Structural Engineers Association of California, which was founded in 1930 and presently has approximately 4000 members. The association sponsors workshops, panel discussions, lectures and seminars with the aim of addressing topics of interest and concern to structural engineers. Our membership, which is over 500 members, includes individuals from most major structural engineering design firms in New York State. Currently, 10% of our membership is affiliate members who come from a variety of disciplines such as geotechnical, civil, construction management and architecture. The purpose of SEAoNY is to advance the art of structural engineering in New York by improving the flow of ideas and building the community of colleagues.
We’d like to give credit and thanks to the following people:
FIGMENT, ENYA and SEoNY for the opportunity
Friends/Volunteers of CDR Studio Architects
For their Cup donations: WeWork, Google, CulinArt Group/Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs
Special thanks to Michelle McDonald for her fabulous filming and good humor.
For their hard work and dedication all the members of CDR Studio, Architects, pc : Lea H. Cloud, Victoria Rospond, Jonathan Dreyfous, Amanda Kras, Andra Eglitis, Daniel Sylvester , Kimberly Tate, Matthew Scarlett, Michael Baskett, Natalie Hamshaw, Philipp Siedler, Rachele Ryan, Rehanna Rojiani, Shu Yang, Trevor Messinger. Special thanks to Ekaterina Zavyalova
Sincere thanks to Eileen Solomon, Director of Special Events for the Mount Sinai Health System.
Risks and challenges
Surprisingly, we are on track collecting the amount of cups we need! Aside from cleaning, punching, gluing and zip-tying all 30,000 together, the next big hurdle is sequencing and structuring this large scale installation. We've done several large mockups but have yet to hoist a section of this up into the trees. Working with the natural environment of Governor’s Island may present challenges- the winds on the island can get very strong. To protect the trees we will be working with an arborist.
We have designed flexibility into the design of the pavilion – the amount of cups could vary – and there is potential for structural improvisation on site. This gives everyone the opportunity for creativity.
Please back our project, spread the word and/or join the team!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)