Finalists Announced for 2015 Governors Island City of Dreams Pavilion

November 20, 2014

Governors Island is one of those magical NYC places that comes to life in the spring after a long winter hibernation. And part of its reawakening will be the revealing of the City of Dreams Pavilion, a futuristic-looking art installation where visitors can gather.

For the fifth consecutive year, FIGMENT has teamed with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter (AIANY) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) to host a competition for the pavilion. Entrants were asked to design a temporary architectural structure to hold 50+ people, provide shade and rain cover, using sustainable materials. And just this week the five finalists were announced.

Billion Oyster Pavilion

By BanG studio (Babak Bryan AIA – principal; Henry Grosman – principal; Suzie Betts – with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project)

City of Dreams Pavilion, Governors Island, Billion Oyster Pavilion

The Billion Oyster Pavilion was influenced by the New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project, “a long-term, large-scale plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next twenty years and in the process educate thousands of young people in New York City about the ecology and economy of their local marine environment.”

The woven canopy is made from steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps, materials used in harbor restoration work. The base is made from “Reef Balls,” a restoration device that the Harbor School will use as part of their habitat creation effort. The most sustainable part about this pavilion? If erected, it will be donated to the school so that it can be completely re-used right on the island.

Tied Together

By Hou de Sousa (Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa)

City of Dreams Pavilion, Tied Together, Governors Island

Tied Together is constructed of aluminum pipes and strands of rope braided from 38,000 repurposed plastic bags (the amount NYC wastes every 90 seconds). From afar it looks like a solid, sculptural object, but up close the overlapping quality and linear gaps alter the way the surrounding landscape in viewed. The design comes at an opportune time, as just yesterday a rally was held advocating for a charge for plastic bags.

The Pulp Pavilion

By MegaZoo (Melody Rees and Arthur Azoulai)

City of Dreams Pavilion, Governors Island, Pulp Pavilion

This biodegradable pavilion is made from cast paper pulp (a mix of recycled paper and grass seed), set into cone-shaped modules that are tightly packed to form a domed archway. The Pulp Pavilion has a net-zero impact and is a showcase for “the potentials of new biodegradable material technologies within the design and construction industry.”

Organic Growth

By Izaskun Chinchilla Architects (Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez)

City of Dreams Pavilion, Governors Island, Organic Growth Pavilion

The Organic Growth pavilion really lives up to its name, as it’s a living and growing natural structure of hydrangeas are arranged in a dome shape. The designers pose the question: “Through its growth, the plant maintains a good balance with the environment; shouldn’t the ‘city of dreams’ do the same?”


By Michele Zanella

City of Dreams Pavilion, Galassia, Governors Island

This geometric self-sustaining pavilion derives its shape from the minimal surface generated between two circular loops. The bamboo structure is punctuated by densely spaced tensed ropes, a process that the designer feels represents a sustainable urban metamorphosis.

The winning design will be announced in December, and the pavilion will open in June 2015. For more information on the designs and the competition visit the FIGMENT website here.

All renderings (c) the artists


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