LOCATION: MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY

SIZE: 11,000 sf


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The Call:

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 established the annual Young Architects’ Program in 2000. Each year, selected finalists are invited to make proposals for an outdoor recreational area in MoMA PS1’s large courtyard space over the summer months. The installation shares space with the museum’s popular music concert series, Warm Up, which brings more than 5,000 people out every Saturday to hear experimental music, live bands, and DJs.

The objective of the project is to provide concert goers and weekly museum visitors with an outdoor recreational area (and summer refuge) that integrates shade, seating and water.
About Drones’ Beach:

Rather than proposing a pure object or a skyscape or a landscape that could be inserted into the existing space, we were interested in transforming the space as a whole. Our proposal is a multi-sensory experience of a tropical beach that draws you into the depths of your imagination and allows you to escape the city.

As setting and atmosphere, the beach serves as a playground of limitless human experiences. When visitors come to this space, the sensational perceptions will all be entirely unique – shaped by different moods, cultural and personal situations, and past memories.

The project engages the existing infrastructure as an armature for design, beginning with reconstituting the concrete walls. Wooden ribs (which suggest the idea of vessel) increase the height and formal nature of the space while manipulating the vertical planes. The newly articulated surface is lined with evocative imagery and misting devices that create a “waterwomb.” The ground-plane has been transformed to suggest pure pink sand, while four “nest-infested” palm trees tower above the space. Associative smells function as instruments for memory and navigation, while the music from the DJ amplifies the experience.

Lastly, the project juxtaposes the narrative of escapism and contemporary public space. Embedded in the project is a certain inter-subjectivity between viewers, not only in the imagery that is used on the walls, but also with the incorporation of new media tools.

With some ambiguity, the project speaks to the evolution of static urban environments into participatory and performative social spaces. All the while, it offers new vantage points and multiple dimensions of reality.

Collaborators include photographer Richard Misrach and Berlin-based smell researcher, Sissel Tolaas.
Special Thanks to: Andrew Aquart; Stefani Fachini; James Harris; Ana Luiza Leite; Tom Makowski; Alfredo Socorro; Monica Socorro; Isaac Stein; and Jie Su; as well as Structural Engineer Gerry DeMarco; and Visualization Artist, Seiji Anderson (Renderbucket.com).


Concept Model

Design Sketch

Multi-sensory experience

Aerial View

Palm Tree / Drones’ Nest View

Recipe for a Palm Tree

Palm Tree / Drones’ Nest View

Multi-sensory experience (Image Credit_Seiji Anderson)

Architecture of the Drone

Drones’ Beach

The Elements: Alter the Spatial Dynamic

The Elements: Create a Waterwomb (Photo Credit: Richard Misrach)

The Elements: Bring in the Beach

The Elements: Incorporate Smells

The Elements: Transmit Impressions – New Vantage Points and Performative Social Spaces


PS1 in the Model Shop