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Canopy was a temporary structure built in P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s courtyard, an art and music venue that attracts 8,000 revelers to its weekly Saturday Warm Up music parties every summer. In addition to visiting the museum, visitors also lounge, play, drink, and dance to performances by avant-garde DJs and musicians. On weekdays and Sundays, the space is used by a quieter audience, including children and their families.

The 11,000-square-foot Canopy was a precise translation of a three-dimensional computer model into freshly cut green bamboo. The project relied on a singular tectonic system to bind together provisions for overhead shade, structure, and varying atmospheres, resulting in a ‘deep landscape’ that permeated the entire courtyard.

Dips in the canopy defined rooms open to the sky, each with a distinct climatic environment for different modes of lounging: a large wading pool; fog nozzles that spread a cool halo of mist on revelers; a sound environment and water misters, which provided intermittent rain showers and randomly soaked the crowd; and a sandy cove that maximized exposure to both sun and shade.

Fourteen hundred poles of Phylostachys aurea bamboo, each 21 feet long, were express-harvested and shipped from Dudley, Georgia. We raced against time to bend them into the desired profiles while they were still green.

The project was experienced by an estimated 100,000 visitors throughout its five-month existence and underwent a slow temporal transformation as the bamboo turned from green to light tan.

Excerpt from the film Canopy by Mogollón
Original competition physical model, 2004.

Client: MoMA PS1
Location: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY
Status: Completed
Dates: 2004
Sq Footage:  30,000sf space; 11,000sf coverage
Program: Interactive installation for cultural activities
Environmental: Built from green bamboo; bamboo was reused by another artist after the project

Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Jorge Pereira, Samuel Dufaux

Fabrication Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Samuel Dufaux, Nick Gelpi, Matt Hutchinson, Ian Keough, Jonathan Kurtz, Jeannie Lee, Marica McKeel, Jorge Pereira, Christopher Rountos, Aaron Tweedie | Anthony Acciavatti, Jenny Chou, Jennifer Fetner, Toru Hasegawa, Mark Hash, Hikaru Iwasaka, Sebastian Potz, Kevin Sipe

Collaborators:  Bamboo Consultant: Dave Flanagan | Structural Consultation: Arup | Horticulture: Marie Viljoen | Sound Environment: José Ignacio Hinestrosa | Steel Fabrication: Amuneal | Film: Mogollon

Photography: Frank Oudeman