Living Pavilion

FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architect Committee ( ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter ( AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York ( SEAoNY) announced that their competition jury has selected Ann Ha and Behrang Behin’s “Living Pavilion” as the winner of the first‐ever annual pavilion competition. The winning project will be assembled on Governors Island, and will be open to the public.

“Living Pavilion” is a low‐tech, zero‐impact structure that employs reclaimed milk crates as the framework for growing a planted “green wall” surface. The pavilion’s construction is simple and modular, relying on common materials such as heavy‐duty packaging straps and weather‐treated wood for its assembly. Erected in the courtyard of Liggett Hall for Governors Island’s summer season, the pavilion will provide refuge from the heat in a shaded environment kept cool by the evaporation from its planted surfaces. As the pavilion’s vaulted form meets the ground, it unfolds into a mat of crates planted with crops that can be harvested and distributed to the community. At the end of the season, its modular design will allow easy disassembly and distribution to the New York area for use in homes, public places, and community gardens. 

The selection of “Living Pavilion” is the result of an international design competition to design and build a pavilion as a central, temporary gathering place on Governors Island. This competition is unique in that it asked designers to consider the full lifecycle of their proposals. With as little environmental impact as possible, considerations included the sourcing, materials, placement, de‐installation, and the future of the pavilion once the summer has ended.

The jury for the competition was Illya Azaroff, AIA, Director of Design, The Design Collective Studio; Matthew Bremer, AIA, Principal, Architecture In Formation; , Will Laufs, Ph.D., Vice President, Thornton Tomasetti; Aleksey Lukyanov‐Cherny, Principal, Situ Studio; Martin Pedersen, Executive Editor, Metropolis magazine; Rob Rogers, FAIA, Principal, Rogers Marvel Architects; and Marc Tsurumaki, Principal, LTL Architects.

Ann Ha received a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008 and also holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida. Her GSD thesis, entitled “Reinterpreting Governors Island”, envisioned a strategy for adaptive reuse of the historic structures on the island by integrating landscape and architecture at different scales. She has worked at several U.S. architecture firms, including Single Speed Design, Maryann Thompson Architects, Marpillero Pollak Architects, and currently Workshop for Architecture.

Behrang Behin has received training in both engineering and architecture, and takes an interdisciplinary, synthetic approach to design. He received a Master in Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008, after which he continued as an Aga Khan Fellow to study the intersection of technology, architecture, and sustainable urbanism. He has worked on international projects at several U.S. design firms, including Office dA, Hashim Sarkis A.L.U.D., REX, and currently Polshek Partnership Architects. Behrang also holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Applied Physics from Yale. Ha and Behrang worked with Kari Katzander of Mingo Design for Green Wall Technology and Plant Selection, and with Yunlu Shen of Buro Happold for Structural Analysis.

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