PS1 Loop

New York, NY
Installation concept
Social environment
Credit List:
Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Eric Höweler, J. Meejin Yoon

LOOP creates an immersive condition as a scaffold for activities.  Rather than a discrete architectural object positioned as a feature within the courtyard, LOOP presents a “loose fill” of architectural form, allowing simultaneously for complete porosity and total coverage.  The geometry is generated through an analysis of cellular aggregates, suggesting an uninterrupted lattice of form which outlines connections between spaces.  There is no enclosure and no exposure, but a suggestion of continuous spatial division.  In packing the single continuous space of the courtyard with a network of smaller spaces, LOOP both encourages and defines the formation of the discrete activity groupings that occur spontaneously during the Warm-Up event.  The closely packed geometries house the closely packed activities- forming an infrastructure for recreation.

Part landscape, part infrastructure, LOOP is a pliable latticework, a jungle gym for adults and children, containing and supplying several interactive activity clusters.  Its lower surfaces are sculpted and reinforced for lounging while the upper canopy provides generous shade and dramatic shadows.  Some of these areas—the waterfalls, foam chamber, and bubble jets—would use motion sensors to automate their activation, allowing LOOP to respond to its occupants.  The bar area is defined as an outdoor lounge, while the unobstructed dance floor is outside of the lattice.  Easy passage through the courtyard is facilitated by greater porosity in the central, high-traffic areas, and greater density at the periphery, which both allows for movement through the center and encourages loitering at the edges.

The main components of LOOP, the loops themselves, are designed and fabricated through digital processes.  The three-dimensional components, formed out of polypropylene sheets, are first modeled in the computer. These shapes are then unfolded and divided into segments which are nested onto 5x10 sheets to minimize material waste.  The segments are milled and labeled offsite, then transported to the PS1 shop where they will be joined with a plastic welder.  Finally, the individual loops would be mechanically fastened together onsite. 

LOOP aspires to be a completely immersive social environment. Through an atmospheric thickening of the ground plane, it provides a dense landscape for the unpredictable unfolding of social exchange.  Employing computational design and fabrication techniques, interactive technologies, and considering the impact of these technologies on material effects, LOOP positions itself within contemporary theoretical discourses in architectural practice. Its geometry is controlled through computational tools that anticipate an optimized “output” through CAD-CAM technologies. Its form, however, is not simply “digital” –it is also the result of a highly manual process that takes material properties (ductility, elasticity, bending) and exploits them through computational techniques.