This year’s winner of the MoMA/PS1 Young Architecture Program competition is extra flashy.
Each year MoMA PS1 unveils a radically new design project for their Young Architects Program meant to provide shade, seating, and water for their summer concert series. Last year it was a compostable structure made from mushroom protein, and the year before it was a “party wall” built from eco-friendly skateboards. This year’s winner is a giant glittering disco ball that also acts as a water filtration system. Now in its 16th edition, 2015’s YAP design competition was won by Andres Jaque’s Office for Political Innovation, former recipient of the Silver Lion of the 14 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Biennale di Venezia (2014). The winning projects must address environmental issues like sustainability and recycling, and Jaque’s design more than delivers. COSMO, drawn from a pool of five finalists, (and seen above), is a movable structure made from a system of irrigation components inspired by the city’s hidden pipes system. It’s engineered to filter 3,000 gallons of water every four days. The project also has a light political bent. It is currently estimated that by 2025, two thirds of the world’s population will experience a critical water shortage, a topic Jaque hopes to bring attention to.
The design will also be an object of visual fascination. As a result of Jaque’s unique biochemical design, the plastic mesh surrounding the installation will glow whenever water has finished its purification cycle.
“This year’s proposal takes one of the young architects program’s essential requirements—providing a water feature for leisure and fun—and highlights water itself as a scarce resource,” explains Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, an exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the warm up sessions.”
Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large adds “Last year Hy-Fi, a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living, raised awareness of ecological and climate change. This year COSMO continues to do so, addressing the issue of increasingly scarce water supplies worldwide in a successful and innovative way.”