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OBRA Architects

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dmadsenweaetxdyvaydzcwq, hanley wood, llc

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The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center present an installation in P.S.1’s outdoor courtyard by New York City-based firm OBRA, led by Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee, the winner of the seventh annual MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program. The competition invites emerging architects to propose an installation for the courtyard of P.S.1 in Long Island City, Queens. The objective of the Young Architects Program is to identify and provide an outlet for emerging young talent in architecture, an ongoing mission of both MoMA and P.S.1. This year, five finalists selected from twenty-five portfolio submissions were asked to present designs for an installation at P.S.1 with the allotted project budget of $70,000.

OBRA Architects (New York), the winner, has constructed BEATFUSE!, an installation that will be on view from June 22 through October 2006. BEATFUSE! evokes a sense of interior space via seven curved, interconnected shells made of plywood and polypropylene mesh that ripple throughout the courtyard. The project also encompasses wooden tidal pools, water misters, and light strainers that create constantly changing shapes in the mist. Three outdoor spaces: a caldarium, a tepidarium, and a frigidarium, offer climatic comfort and variety through architecture. For example, the frigidarium, a small outdoor gallery, will provide respite from the summer heat through the use of foil bubble insulation and ice. As in past years, the project serves as the venue for Warm Up, the popular music series held annually in P.S.1’s courtyard.

In addition to OBRA, the five finalists are Contemporary Architecture Practice (New York), Gnuform (Los Angeles), Howeler + Yoon (Boston), and Kivi Sotamaa (Columbus). The designs will be presented in an exhibition in MoMA’s Louise Reinhardt Smith Gallery, from June 16 to September 2.

Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, comments, “We are very pleased to collaborate again with P.S.1 on this annual journey to discover and present new architectural talent. The OBRA project will provide a distinctive summer ambience that is the ideal complement to P.S1’s innovative programming.” “All of the proposals from the five finalists were extraordinarily seductive and beautifully presented. Choosing one became a daunting task," remarks P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss. “From above OBRA’s winning design resembles a gigantic albino python curled up in the courtyard, and the interior makes me imagine being inside luminescent golf balls.” OBRA Principals, Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee describe the installation: “No two New Yorkers are alike; everyone moves to a different beat. When the Warm Up DJs match tunes, beats fuse. Form follows tension and air is suffused with mist and light, as all dance under a penumbra of moiré."
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