Burple Bup Pavilion sets its sights on Governor′s Island

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Thursday, April 28, 2011
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Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Coming this summer to a Governor’s Island near you (as long as you’re in New York), the Burple Bup pavilion will fuse natural and synthetic materials to create a sustainable refuge from the sun. Composed of layered earthen strands winding sinuously beneath a translucent floating dome. Designed by Bittertang, the temporary shelter will provide a quiet meditative and social space on the island beginning May 27.

Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Burple Bup is described by its designers as a secret hideout that promotes quiet socializing, the space will also provide a venue for arts and cultural performances. Earthen berms made of fabric tubes filled with bark and soil wind naturally to form a new landscape and sound barrier. Grasses will cover the berms to create a lush landscape suited for relaxation. Individual inflated balloons called “Bups” join together to create a hovering ceiling that filters light with a changing wash of color.

After the summer season is finished, the shelter will be disassembled and either recycled or reused. The fabric and soil from the berms will be composted and used for nearby landscaping projects while the inflatable Bups will be distributed to local swimming pools for use as toys during summer 2012.

Bittertang’s concept was selected from over 80 entries to the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition sponsored by Figment, the Emerging New York Architect Committee of the AIANY, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York. Construction will begin soon, pending approvals and fundraising. (You can donate to the project over here.)

The pavilion will be open to the public from May 27 through September 25 and an exhibition of the design will be on display at the Center for Architecture at 536 La Guardia Place from July 18 through September 16.

Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Bittertang's "Burple Bup" wins City of Dreams Pavilion Competition

Section through Burple Bup (Courtesy Bittertang)

Section through Burple Bup (Courtesy Bittertang)

Floor plan of Burple Bup (Courtesy Bittertang)

Floor plan of Burple Bup (Courtesy Bittertang)

2 Responses to “Burple Bup Pavilion sets its sights on Governor′s Island”

  1. Victoria Gillen says:

    AIANY, and the Structural Engineers Association of New York… how strange that two professional organizations are backing this. Near as I can tell, the “designers” are not licensed in either profession. This structure will require a NYC Department of Buildings permit – will it be “rubber stamped”? No wonder the architects are hurting! Would the AMA (can’t get a better protective association than that) allow showcase cancer treatment by non-licensed people? This is so wrong…

  2. David Koren, FIGMENT says:

    Victoria, this is a competition that is intentionally cross-disciplinary, open to architects, structural engineers, emerging architects, designers, artists, construction professionals, and really anyone who has an idea to propose. The competition intentionally breaks down traditional professional barriers, rather than reinforcing them. As for the Building Department permit, we’re not quite sure it’s a “building” but the island is now a fully city-run property (under the Trust for Governors Island) and they have asked us to obtain DOB approval, which we are trying to do. I doubt we’ll receipt a “rubber stamp” on the pavilion, but I have to imagine it is difficult to determine which building department rules apply to a temporary structure with walls that are only 20″ tall or so on the sides… and with a roof made of oversized pool inflatables… definitely not your typical “building.” We’re really thrilled with the design our jury selected this year (more info at http://figmentproject.org/pavilion) and we hope you’ll come check it out at FIGMENT (June 10-12) or at another time this summer!

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