Alexander Levi and Amanda Schachter, SLO Architecture: Harvest Dome 2.0

Harvest Dome 2.0 is a floating installation for Inwood Hill Park Inlet that calls attention to New York City’s waterways and watersheds. Together with local teens, SLO Architecture is gathering discarded storm-snapped umbrellas, and assembling them into a giant dome as a revelation of the city’s accumulated waterborne debris. One of several of Schachter and Levi’s investigations along the City’s waterways, Harvest Dome furthers the team’s desire to reveal New York City’s primeval ecologies through architectural experimentation. The Dome transfigures the workings of the ecosystem at Manhattan’s northern tip, the site of the island’s last remaining saltmarsh. The inlet at Inwood Hill Park, a remnant of Spuyten Duyvil Creek’s marshland, reconfigured and dredged in 1895 to create the Harlem River Ship Canal, is home to saltwater cordgrass, a species particularly adept at trapping and converting flotsam into the nutrient-rich mud called detritus, which supports abundant life on the marsh. During the course of a month, the buoyant sphere will rise and fall with the tide–alternating between floating and sitting on the mud-flat which is uncovered twice daily. The Dome engages the circadian action of the water and emerges from the mud-flat as a curiously out-scaled harvesting of urban flotsam.

HARVEST DOME 1.0 The Journey, and the Destruction
The first Harvest Dome was built with a 2011 MCAF grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, at a space shared by a boat-building program and community arts group in Hunts Point along the Bronx River. Working with a heterogeneous group of local teens, interns, volunteers and experts, Harvest Dome brought together a diverse group of teammates who, over the months involved, would become confident spokes- people for their efforts, their neighborhood, and for the greater environment in which they were acting. On October 19, 2011, the team transported the dome on water to Inwood with the help of the Bronx River Alliance and SIMS metal management, but inclement weather caused the Dome to be marooned on Rikers Island. It was then requisitioned and destroyed by the NYC Department of Correction.

SLO Architecture is currently working to secure a location to construct the Dome closer to Inwood, with an anticipated exhibition date for August 2012. They have salvaged the destroyed remains of the first Harvest Dome from Rikers Island and will display parts of them with Harvest Dome 2.0.  Harvest Dome 2.0 is funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign launched earlier this year by Schachter & Levi and other generous donations made through the Architectural League of New York, the project’s fiscal sponsor.

SPEAKERS: Alexander Levi and Amanda Schachter are principals of SLO Architecture, which they founded in Madrid, has been based in New York City since 2007. They are native New Yorkers, and prior to starting their office, licensed in both Spain and New York, they were involved in numerous public building projects in Europe where they resided from 1998-2007. Schachter & Levi are recipients of the 2012 New Practices New York Award of the AIANY, among numerous awards.

Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator and writer currently based in New York. He is the Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA


Event Details:

  • When: 

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012
    6:30 p.m.

  • Where: 

    Trespa Design Centre New York
    62 Greene Street
    New York, NY

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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