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P.S.1 2010 entry: Weathers Permitting by William O'Brien Jr

P.S.1 2010 entry: Weathers Permitting by William O'Brien Jr

As I told you on our previous post, the summer installation competition held by the MoMA and the P.S.1 is a platform for young architects, and that’s why we are presenting you all the entries for this year. You can read our whole P.S.1 competition coverage here.

We continue with William O’Brien Jr, who has been very related to the academy and is currently a professor at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and he also runs his own practice in Cambridge, MA.

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

His proposal for the summer installation, Weathers Permitting, constructs an elevated boardwalk with a topology which collects water, which varies or evaporates depending on the current weather at the location. The action of the weather over the boardwalk reminds me of the weathering effect described by Mohsen Mostafavi on his book On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time.

More about William’s proposal after the break:

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

Weathers Permitting: A Field Guide to Transitional Environments

Weathers Permitting — a proposal for the 2010 MoMA/ P.S.1 Young Architects Program — aspires to broaden affiliations between natural processes and cultural practices. It seeks to sponsor a renewed curiosity in spatial, temporal, and conditional patterns of environmental transition to which we may have grown accustomed.

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

The installation is conceptualized as a terrain — a continuous and varied landscape — which resists rigid typological classification. Rather, through formal and compositional metamorphosis, the terrain enfolds a spectrum of diverse, yet correlated landscape characteristics. It is designed as an elevated boardwalk with unconventional properties including malleability and water retention.

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

Conceived as a flexible construct, the design makes use of the common-directionality and inherent material-flexibility of parallel planks of wood in order to guide the locations of folds in its surface. Transitions between two-dimensional surface and three-dimensional volume offer multiple littoral zones which mimic the variety of aquatic conditions typically associated with coastlines. Participating in the repetitive cycles of time and the indeterminate patterns of weather, depressions in the terrain collect and evaporate water intermittently, registering the oscillation of environmental conditions.

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

Exploration of an ambiguous field often benefits from a guide. Here we provide you with “A Field Guide to Transitional Environments” to help in identification and characterization of elements, occurrences, and conditions you may encounter while in the field.

© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr
© William O'Brien Jr

Design Principal: William O’Brien Jr.

Project Team: Cecilia Ho Sunnie Lau George X. Lin Alex Marshall Travis Williams

Visualization: Neoscape, Inc.

Music: Dave Eggar

Component Models: George Brin, Brin Studio

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Cite: David Basulto. "P.S.1 2010 entry: Weathers Permitting by William O'Brien Jr" 26 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/47708/p-s-1-2010-entry-weathers-permitting-by-william-obrien-jr/>