‘Party Wall’ to debut at MoMA PS1 Warm Up summer music series


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

Images courtesy of CODA
Images courtesy of CODA

CODA’s “Party Wall,” winning design of the 2013 Young Architects Program, will be featured at MoMA PS1’s Warm Up summer music series starting June 29.

Once again, the heat won’t be the only thing warming up Long Island City this summer.

The 16th edition of MoMA PS1’s Warm Up summer music series and dance party will kick off June 29 and take place every Saturday through September 7.

More than entertainment, the series also acts as an architectural exhibit.

The winner of the annual Young Architects Program provides shade and seating for those attending the series each summer in the modern art museum’s outdoor courtyard.

The 2013 pick, “Party Wall,” by Ithaca-based experimental design and research office CODA, will combine function and innovative design like the previous year’s winners. But it also will have an eco-friendly twist—woven wooden panels made from recycled skateboard scraps.

“At CODA, we don’t know what we’re going to end up with, but we have a certain way we approach design projects, and that is to look very closely at the site,” said CODA principal founder Caroline O’Donnell.

She got her first look at the future site of “Party Wall” when she came to the U.S. for her master’s degree in 2004.
“One of the first things I did [when I came to America] was go to PS1,” said the Irish-born O’Donnell.

About four years later she started teaching at Cornell University, where she is currently an assistant professor of architecture.

The same year she came to the school, she started CODA.

After successfully competing in several architectural competitions, CODA was nominated and later chosen as one of five finalists to submit designs for the MoMA PS1 Warm Up 2013 project.

Finalists had to create a temporary outdoor installation that provided shading and seating for attendees, had a water feature and addressed environmental issues, such as sustainability.

This year, architects also had to create a design that could be used for other events and programs in addition to the music series, said O’Donnell.

CODA tackled these requirements and beyond.

Many former winners used a canopy as shade, she said, but the CODA team thought there were other ways to create it, and that was one reason they chose a wall.

They also saw a wall as an ideal multi-functional element.

“We were interested in ‘how the wall could do more than just be a wall,’” said O’Donnell.

Panels will detach from the lower section of “Party Wall”’s façade and will be used as benches and communal tables during Warm Up and other events.

O’Donnell wanted to use a material that was sustainable or had a future life for the detachable seating, and first thought of recycled plastic chairs, but those were not in the budget.

With the help of the Cornell Center for Materials Research, she found Comet, an Ithaca eco-friendly skateboard company.

The manufacturer donated uncut boards for the seating and boards after they are cut into the skateboards, which will be woven together to make the façade.

These woven pieces of reclaimed wood will also help create the structure’s “micro-stages.”

“Party Wall” will also feature pools of water that will serve as cooling stations. These can be covered for additional staging or shading.

“It doesn’t just have to do one thing. It has to do many things,” said O’Donnell.

 

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