P.S.1 2010 entry: LUX NOVA by EASTON+COMBS


We continue featuring the proposals for this years summer installation competition (awarded to SO-IL, read our full coverage of the PS1 competitions here).

This time we introduce you EASTON+COMBS, a practice ran by partners Rona Easton and Lonn Combs.

The firm has a focus on material innovation, which could be seen at LUX NOVA, their proposal for the P.S.1, which includes “Strong Light”, a 100 percent recyclable and exceptionally strong featherweight building component.


The initial system is developed as a permeable featherlight structural skin that engages an environmental play of translucent and polychromatic effect. The system offers an 80% weight reduction over an equivalent glass system with no compromise in strength and stability at a significantly lower cost.

More about LUX NOVA after the break:


The history of architecture is laced with moments of simple invention that reinforce the link between material practices, social practice, and the narrative of environments.

In addressing the question of an environmental structure for the MoMA PS1 courtyard we were inspired by the story of an old material and it’s reinvention that profoundly affected the connection between social narrative and the environment. In 12th century Paris, the Abbey Saint Denis experienced a substantial reconstruction that included, for the first time, the use of polychromatic dyed glass to extend the narrative possibilities of painting into the surface of the apse window. Upon completion, Abbot Suger was so moved by the multicolored cast of light and it’s narrative power that he declared it the ‘Lux Nova’ or the ‘new light’. This was to become a primary architectural practice incorporated in the collective experience of the gothic period and beyond.


Although the PS1’s environmental structure may have less sacred aspirations for the employ of innovative material techniques, the collective narrative of the ‘Warm-Up’ ritual and more contemplative museum installation narrative offer unique cultural counterpoints for the exploration of architectural invention.


The architectural installation is primarily an environmental structure that proposes a diaphanous multihued surface that spans above and thickens locally to provide multiple scales of habitation, both collective and intimate. The structure produces both temperate environments and luminous atmospheres that drift dynamically with daylight. This narrates a landscape of light, color and ambient environments that create temporary atmospheres for contemplative and collective occupation.


The proposal explores the basic environmental and cultural performance of extruded cellular polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a featherweight, high strength building material which is sustainably manufactured and 100 percent recyclable. The architectural use of the polycarbonate leverages both the high strength and ultralight weight as a series of blades in an interwoven lattice structural skin. The geometric organization of the structure creates a fenestrated surface that produces a moiré visual field condition.

With this innovation, the narrative power of the material’s properties is revealed and attention is returned to a basic condition of architecture as an influencer of local atmospheres through material means.

Location: Queens,
Client: MoMA
Program: Public space installation
Building: 10,000sqf [930sqm]
Contract Sum: 85,000 USD
Status: Invited Finalist

Lonn Combs
Rona Easton
Aaron White
Sebastian Misiurek
Paul Langley
Tai Li Lee
Scott Sorenson
Mehnaj Tabassum
Lukasz Szlachcic
Jun Pak
Alex Drabyk
Patrick Donbeck
Matt Krupanski

Structural Consultant: Robert Otani, Thornton Tomasetti

Environmental Consultant: Ajmal L. Aqtash

Cite: Basulto, David. "P.S.1 2010 entry: LUX NOVA by EASTON+COMBS" 03 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=48654>
  • Network Fever

    It’s brilliant! After seeing this project i dont understand how the stripper pole project won. I can only hope they build this in china where they still appreciate innovation and great design

  • alex

    conceptually this is much more interesting than the pencils-stuck-in-fabric thing. I like that there’s an actual link between material, space, and affect. it does, however, seem to be executed rather clumsily. the components, interesting on their own, are configured as trees for some reason, and then nothing else. the “trees” dont even seem to respond to each other, just exist next to each other. they even phone in the benches with the stone slabs! comeon! could’ve been cool, swing and a miss.

  • me

    gosh man. you need to chill. if quality of light alone isn’t interesting to you, then i would say you have ignored a lot of great architectural theory already.

    i’m not sure what motivates people to be so agressive on this web site….architecture is subjective in many ways

    • alex

      you’re right. being impressed by pretty “happy-colored” light, while ignoring actual tectonics, def = great architectural theory. groundbreaking.

      it’s not being aggressive, it’s just being able to recognize when a concept is not very well executed.

  • boom boom

    there is an interesting article about this project that gets a lot more into the tectonics of it. very interesting stuff, still really don’t understand how the pole dance scheme won. http://www.core.form-ula.com/2010/01/24/interview-eastoncombs-lux-nova/

  • http://www.event-architekten.com eventagentur berlin

    When I saw the winning project I thought thats fabulous. But this definetly my favourite. In fact they are all nice. The BIG bubbles are fantastic too. Uuuuh cant decide whats best…

  • http://www.monclerladies.org/ Anonymous