Second Life Pavilion
City of Dreams Competition
Roosevelt Island, NYC
For the City of Dreams Pavilion, we spent a lot of time considering borrowed materials in terms of our architecture practice and the sustainability movement. The idea of borrowing materials is intriguing, but at first seemed to be antithetical to the broader built environment which is meant to be more permanent than a summer pavilion. We then considered wood which has a renewable life cycle, from tree, to the built environment, and finally biodegrading back into nature. This re-framed our idea of wood as a material that is essentially borrowed for a time from nature, and combined with sustainable forestry, can be an important building material as part of the sustainable construction industry. Wood is essentially the ultimate borrowed material.
We then took this idea of wood as a borrowed material a bit further and considered how we might grant a tree a Second Life that is destined to be cut down. The NYC Parks Department routinely cuts down trees as part of maintaining the natural ecosystem within NYC. These trees are ground into chips and dispersed into the parks. We are proposing intercepting a few trees that are going to be cut down and borrow them from the Parks Department to mill into lumber for our proposed pavilion. At the conclusion of the pavilion's time frame, the lumber would be ground into chips and spread around Roosevelt Island. We would actually be adding material to the environment of the island as a consequence of our pavilion.