Storefront for Art and Architecture, the New Museum, and New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), are pleased to announce that a team of emerging New York City-based designers from the studios Family and PlayLab have been selected as the winners of Storefront’s StreetFest international competition to re-envision temporary outdoor structures. The StreetFest competition asked for designs that envisioned street tents not only as shelters but also as active elements within the collective construction and understanding of the city. More on the results of this competition after the break.
StreetFest called for Architects, Artists and Engineers to re-envision, with the same budget of renting common tenting structures, the performativity – the material, social, and educational possibilities – of temporary outdoor structures and to bring innovative design to an object of everyday life within the urban life of cities. Unanimously chosen by the jury out of 30 submissions, the winning entry, called “The Worms”, allows for a variety of urban configurations able to construct spaces of gathering and collectivity in a context of surprising, colorful playfulness.
The Worms’ are modular accordion forms, skinned in bright, lightweight, waterproof rip-stop nylon that is patterned and reinforced to provide flexibility in use and singularity in shape. Each modular unit is 10 feet in height and 20 feet in length and can be combined in an infinite number of different configurations, generating gathering spots and orientation points within the crowded context of a public event.
“The Worms” take the most functional aspects of the typical street fair tent and advance them, making the result more adaptable, sculptural, and interactive, accommodating a wider and more engaging variety of programs. Built from common and inexpensive materials, these new tent typologies are designed to be as efficient in cost and assembly as the ubiquitous white farmer’s market tent, while catalyzing activities and events not typically found in street festivals.
The rolled galvanized steel ribs of ‘The Worms,’ supported by steel forks resting on swivel casters, create bays that can expand, turn, and contract to host a variety of programs and can easily be reconfigured. To minimize on-site setup time, each ‘Worm’ can be flat packed and delivered to the site fully assembled before being rolled and locked into position.
The winning design will be on full view when StreetFest takes place along the Bowery, between Houston and Spring Streets, in Downtown Manhattan on May 7, 2011 during the upcoming Festival of Ideas for the New City where eight raspberry and cyan blue colored ‘Worms’ will be realized for the May event.