Coney Island, New York, USA
Pavilion, Multi-purpose space, Exhibition space
The competition brief required the design of a multi-purpose space of 2500 sqm, which would relate to the adjoining site of the Parachute Jump at Coney Island, New York. The existing Parachute tower, built in the 30s to help military paratroopers practise parachuting, stands until today as a landmark for the neighbouring entertainment seaside area.
The proposed pavilion explores two interesting parameters involved in the free fall: time and space sequency, whereas at the same time, through design, it acquires a rather playful and witty character, adopting the site’s long-established reputation as a destination for amusement and recreation.
The roof of the pavilion consists of a grid of steel beams supporting a secondary structure of smaller frames, which hold with springs a series of rings embracing helium balloons of 2m diameter.
The void between the roof and ground level is occupied by a series of ramps that form a continuous circulation loop, the exhibition area. The ramps are suspended from the main structure and are subjected to a controlled lateral movement.
The flow of the visitors on the ramps causes shuttle changes to the roofscape creating an environment in a state of constant flux and turning the roof into a living element. The roof acts as the project ‘s common denominator, by serving as a kind of screen umbrella and by accelerating the possibility of different events such as multimedia work performances in non – traditional scenography.
The pavilion experiments with the time-space sequence of parachuting described as Hitchcock Tempo, a situation where one is in effect, in a constant state of suspense, of unstable equilibrium, between predictability and surprise, order and chaos, control and change.