Think of it as a sort of inverted green roof. For their low-tech, low-impact installation, Ann Ha and Behrang Behin used recycled milk crates as a framework for growing the planted surface of Living Pavilion–a curvatious environment whose interior green living walls completely surrounded visitors on all sides.
The designers described the installation as a synthesis of form, structure, light, and life. Employing the principles of evapotranspiration, the suspended shade-tolerant plants on the pavilion’s surface moderated temperatures to provide a cool interior environment.
Installed on Governors Island in New York City during the summer 2010 season as a temporary central gathering and assembly point for arts activities, the installation won the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition 2010 sponsored by Figment, The Emerging New York Architects Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (ENYA), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY))
At the end of the season, the modular pavilion was disassembled and the planted milk crates distributed in the New York area for use in homes, public places, and community gardens.
Living Pavilion’s designers were envisioning a future in which nature is brought back into the urban environment to compliment the city’s vitality, while adding some green to offset the hard industrial surfaces.
The installation was a nod to technologies such as green roofs and green walls which, as they proliferate, will reduce the heat-island effect and mitigate storm water runoff. Living Pavilion was also intended to raise awareness about urban farms that provide nutritious locally grown produce to urban dwellers while raising awareness of the origins of their food.
“Living Pavilion strived to embody and communicate an ethic of re-use, recycling, and re-purposing,” explained the designers. “By using a common and ubiquitous object–the milk crate–in an uncommon way, we hoped the project would instigate those who experience the project to see new potentials in their everyday world.”