CODA’s “Party Wall” Made From Skateboard Castoffs Wins MoMA PS1′s 2013 Young Architects Program

The architect Caroline O’Donnell—of the Ithaca, New York–based experimental design and research studio CODA—is the winner of MoMA PS1′s 2013 Young Architects Program.

Her design, Party Wall, will provide shade and succor to the crowds of art enthusiasts who gather for PS1′s summer Warm-Up series. O’Donnell’s design calls for a vertical shade that defines space with the shadows it casts. The steel structure is clad with a porous facade made from the castoffs of the eco-friendly skateboard manufacturer Comet.

“Party Wall arches over the various available spaces, activating them for different purposes, while making evident that even the most unexpected materials can always be reinvented to originate architectural form and its ability to communicate with the public,” MoMA architecture and design curator Pedro Gadanho said in the announcement about the award. The wall will include detachable benches made from uncut skateboard misprints, whose arrangements will be managed by a team of spritely “pool boys” wearing uniforms made by American Apparel.


CODA’s vertical design marks a departure from the strategies of past winners, O’Donnell’s vertical take on the canopy responds to its surroundings—such as the giant billboards of Queens—and the path of the sun in the sky. “At CODA we believe that architecture should be reactive to context, just as an organism evolves in relation to its site,” the architects write in their brief.

At the base of Party Wall, a sequence of pools will be filled by a gravity-operated fountain. A shallow stage will line the perimeter of the wall, forming several microstages that open onto PS1′s courtyards and the dance floor.




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