MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Winning Proposal / Matter

Inspired by Chris Marker’s ‘photo-roman’ La Jetée, this selected entry for the MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas by Matter Architecture Practice is is a fictional story of a real place. The Narrator speaks a remembrance presented as being that of her daughter (now growing up in New York) in the year 2096, when she will be 90 years old. The image of this daughter as an old woman is one taken by the Narrator of her grandmother – or the daughter’s great-grandmother -on a boat, in New York, when she was 90 years old. More architects’ description after the break.

The daughter’s recollected grandmother, appearing as a young girl with her sister, really is her grandmother – the Narrator’s mother – taken on the beach in New York. So is a cycle of space and time, where our future is also our past, achieved by letting it go.

Architects: Matter
Location: New York,
Team: Sandra Wheeler, Alfred Zollinger, Chelsea Crisfulli, Samuel Weston
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "MOMA PS1 Rockaway Call for Ideas Winning Proposal / Matter" 26 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=393126>
  • James MD

    None of the winning proposals in this competition so far are useful. They turn difficult problems into melodramatic dystopian poetry that pretends to be political, but a political solution that doesn’t embrace reality isn’t anything more than pretentiousness. The solutions to inhabiting Rockaway will necessitate new formal ideas, the raising of land/buildings, but by exaggerating the scale of what needs to be done and how we need to do it, MOMA PS1 is only fueling the nihilism in the community and the desire to rebuild exactly as they’ve always been doing, in a way that no longer works. Architects need to be idealistic and poetic and also pragmatic. If they refuse to do that, then they fail to prove they sincerely care about the people and the place in Rockaway.