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Broken Umbrella and Oyster-Themed Pavilions Coming to Governors Island

By Irene Plagianos | January 28, 2015 8:54am
 Two winner were chosen for the 5th Annual competition.
City of Dreams Pavilion Competition
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GOVERNORS ISLAND — Two quirky pavilions — one woven from broken umbrellas and old stools, the other from materials used to cultivate oysters — will find a home on Governors Island this summer.

The massive, eco-friendly canopies are the winners of FIGMENT art festival's annual City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition, the organization announced Tuesday.

It's the first time the competition, in its fifth year, has picked two winners: a structure called the Billion Oyster Pavilion, constructed by New York designers from BanG Studio, and Organic Growth, a pavilion designed by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects from Madrid and London.

Each of the designers found whimsical ways to use recycled or low-impact materials for the temporary pavilions, which will be displayed for Governors Island's summer season, from June through September.

As the Billion Oyster Pavilion's name suggests, the design was inspired by New York Harbor School's Billion Oyster project, an initiative meant to return oysters to the harbor.

The expansive canopy will be constructed from materials used in the oyster restoration project, including nylon rope and hose clamps. The base of the pavilion is made of custom-cast “Reef Balls,” an oyster restoration device.

Once the piece is dismantled, in September, all the components will be donated to the New York Harbor School, a marine sciences-focused high school on Governors Island.

The other design project, Organic Growth, is woven from broken umbrellas, old stools and damaged bicycle wheels, to create a pavilion that resembles a canopy of flowers.

The projects were chosen by a jury of local architects and engineers.

The goal, according to FIGMENT, is to find a creative design that encourages visitors to the island to relax, interact and enjoy public art.

"Given that collaboration and experimentation are part of what FIGMENT is all about, and the premise of this competition is that architecture has the ability to reach and involve the public in new ways, the jury agreed that the two pavilion designs would enhance each other and strengthen the competition overall," FIGMENT said in a statement.

FIGMENT, a nonprofit arts organization that hosts public art installations across the country, runs the annual contest in partnership with the Structural Engineers Association of New York and the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the American Institute of Architects NYC Chapter.