The New York Times reports that MOS, the architectural firm of Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, recently won the Young Architects Competition, an annual competition sponsored by MoMA and P.S. 1 to transform the courtyard of P.S. 1 in Queens (Hat tip: Artforum). Designed to provide shade for P.S. 1's summer music series, the winning design, afterparty, uses thatch and a variety of chimney, cone and dome shapes to provide passive cooling. Click here to see a slide show.
MOS has a history of interesting projects that alter the way we think about and interact with urban and suburban spaces. Urban Battery, their winning entry for the flip a strip competition, refuses to just gussy up an outmoded strip mall. Set in Scottsdale, Arizona, Urban Battery addresses the energy needs of the strip mall and mitigates its most undesirable effects without trying to fundamentally alter its function. As the flip a strip description puts it: "The firm wanted to sustain the frank, lowbrow purpose of the strip mall, rather than 'gentrify' the genre. No money or energy was wasted on ancillary services or aesthetic flourishes."
Urban Battery generates energy--an estimated 75,000 kWh per year--for the strip mall using wind turbines. Its most striking feature, the 300 x 300 ft. vertical screen, is really a vertical greenhouse: it is comprised of "thin glass channels housing a network of pipes, tubes, and algae" that filter the air, shade the mall and provide a source for biofuel. Elegant in both conception and design, it also serves as a smart solution to the strict anti-billboard zoning in Scottsdale, providing an attractive, green advertisement for the mall (as well as an advertisement for green technology itself).
In the very near future, it will be necessary to address the consequences of the world that we've created. Thinking about the way we create and use energy in conjunction with the way we create and use space seems like an excellent place to start.
You can see many more MOS projects by visiting their website.
The above images were created by and belong to MOS. Many thanks to MOS for providing them.