Formlessfinder, whose interesting manifesto is now published on The Funambulist, created this year, what is the best PS1 Pavilion proposition I have ever seen. Observing the limitation of the redundant canopy, they have been designing a beautiful debris jungle which materializes what I have been idealizing since the first time I visited PS1 !
Bag Pile uses a palette of geotextile containers, products developed to control erosion and shifting material at a vast scale, in combination with heavy (gravel, sand) and light (recycled foam) fills to pack the PS1 courtyard with a tangle of columns, arches, and vaults. These elements are formed by combining heavy and light according to a simple structural principle – lightweight fill is used in overhead spans and tall vertical elements, which are always anchored to the ground and secured against wind loads through a ballast of heavy fill. Shipping and material costs are kept to a minimum not only by using industrial materials typically deployed at a much larger scale than that of the courtyard, but by sourcing materials locally – the heaviest material comes from less than a mile and a half from the site. Demolition costs are more or less eliminated by finding destinations in advance for all materials to be recycled and repurposed. In this way, secondary materials – typically hidden from view in infrastructure and landscape projects – become primary.
The challenge of this annual competition is to design an interesting architecture with a very low budget and most offices seem to think of a scheme that would necessities more money to finally reduce the project to a very reduced version. Bag Pile on the contrary, recounts its own budget limitation and imagines a sort of playfield whose apparent dirtiness disturbs the visitor and requires a negotiation with his repulsion.