Courtyard Installation Set For MoMA PS1

Staff Writer

A circular tower of organic bricks made from corn stalks and living root structures will be seen at MoMA PS1’s courtyard in Long Island City.

As part of the 15th edition of the Young Architects, the contemporary art museum selected David Benjamin’s firm The Living as the winner for this summer’s temporary courtyard installation.

Using biological technologies combined with computation and engineering to create new building materials, the winning project, Hy-Fi, opens in late June.

The circular structure will consist of 100 percent organic material, which will grow out of nothing but earth and it returns to nothing but earth – with almost no waste, no energy needs and no carbon emissions.

Pedro Gadanho, curator in MoMA’s department of architecture and design, said this year’s YAP project “bears no small feat.”

“It is the first sizeable structure to claim near-zero carbon emissions in its construction process and, beyond recycling, it presents itself as being 100 percent compostable,” he said. “At MoMA PS1, The Living’s project will be showcased as a sensuous, primeval background for the Warm-Up sessions. The ideas and research behind it, however, will live on to fulfill ever new uses and purposes.”

The tower of organic and reflective bricks is arranged in a way to bounce light down on the towers and the ground. Hy-Fi is calibrated to create a cool micro-climate in the summer by drawing in cool air at the bottom and pushing out hot air at the top.

According to The Living, which works with new technologies and urban challenges to create corresponding living, breathing design and ecosystems, the structure offers shade, light, color, views and a future-oriented experience that is designed to be refreshing and thought-provoking for the summer’s Warm Up music summer series.

Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128,, or @Tsakhuja13.