(lenka míková) The courtyard of the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in New York presents an odd installation this summer that some people may even find hideous. Architects from the MOS studio explain its title, Afterparty, as a certain reflection of the existing economic situation and contemporary architectural work – “(…) everybody seems to have waken up from an embarrassing drunken postmodern party and trying to forget everything that happened.”
The central motive is allegedly the need to look for new combinations and mixtures, as well as new methods of designing as a counter-reaction to the formalism that currently dominates academic discussions. The designers strive to achieve a more primitive form of architecture – in the elementary geometry of vaults and the dome, rough basic material, and an effort to create a specific environment.
The design by Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample from MOS architects won the 10th annual YAP (Young Architects Program) competition, organized by MoMA and P.S.1 with the aim to provide opportunities to young, promising, and progressive architects. Selected finalists (MOS have participated two times) are assigned to design a temporary exterior installation and encouraged to experiment with new materials, construction methods, and digital production. However, they have to fit into the strict budget of USD 70,000. The assignment also included shading, water, and seating elements, plus a bar.
The Afterparty pavilion was conceived as an urban hiding place that provides cool shelter during a summer series of musical events. The landscape, consisting of high conical shapes made from light aluminum structure, is covered by dark thatches from palm fibers. This false fur absorbs the heat from the sun and warms the air inside a series of individual huts, thus creating a chimney-effect and resulting in air circulation and ventilation. The Afterparty offers shade and coolness to visitors on hot summer days and shows what the interior of a Bedouin tent may look like. MOS studio proves that much attention should be paid to its work in the future.