Hy-Fi at MoMA PS1

John Hill
30. June 2014
Photo: © Barkow Photo

Hy-Fi, a project by David Benjamin's The Living, opened recently in the courtyard of MoMA PS1. The installation, the winner of the museum's Young Architect's Program, is made from special bricks that will be composted at the end of the summer.

Hy-Fi is the 15th YAP installation since MoMA PS1 started inviting young architects in 2000 to design pavilions for cooling the summer revelers at the museum's popular Warm Up outdoor music series. The pavilions have been opportunities for architects to explore innovative forms and technologies, and both are present in Benjamin's design in which corn and mycelium fuse together to create lightweight, organic bricks that are stacked in a tubular tower. Wood structural members splay the undulating form to give revelers access to the cooling interior that is designed like a chimney to draw warm air up and out the openings at the top.

Photo: © Barkow Photo

To achieve such an innovative, biodegradable brick, Benjamin collaborated with a number of companies, including Ecovative Design on the corn/mushroom mix and 3M on the bricks' "growing trays." The latter are coated in a reflective film that 3M developed and which are positioned atop the organic bricks to reflect light to the interior and give the impression that the installation dissolves into the sky as it rises – a perfect parallel to the installation's life after it closes on September 6, 2014.

Photo: © Barkow Photo

For more information on the project see our Film feature on Hy-Fi, where Benjamin talks about the ideas behind his design, and where we look at his firm's recent acquisition by Autodesk.

Many thanks to Barkow Photo for the above photographs of Hy-Fi.

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