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Who'll be in charge of the pulling down and retracting of the shading devices?
Georgeen Theodore: We'll do it. We really like the idea that they're retractable, because basically the amount of shade and the pattern of the sails will change based on say the amount of sun, what's happening underneath, so it really enhances the fact that this project is temporary and takes advantage of these temporary conditions.
Tobias Armborst: The way we came up with that is that obviously you need shade for the event, and for all the other programs that we imagined could happen in the courtyard during that time. And we're thinking, "How can we provide that shade with the least amount of architecture, without putting some pavilion in there that's in people's way." Basically: "How can we provide shade without touching the ground or putting up columns?" And so we just connected the walls with rope in the simplest way possible. And the result was surprisingly beautiful that you have this odd shape that is not really designed, there's no algorithm or something that led us to the shape, it's just connecting the wall to this courtyard.
To what extent will the use and programming of the space be left up to visitors?
Tobias Armborst: That's something that to some degree still needs figuring out because we don't really know yet what happens with all the stuff once you throw 5,000 people in here. So it needs some rejigging. One thing we're really interested in is the furniture: there are some pieces that you can move with one person, and others that you need two people for, and others that you need four people for. And we're excited to see the different rhythms for these. We hope to map at the end of every day where everything ended up.
How much did the need for durability due to the extreme use of the Warm Up parties dictate your project?
Georgeen Theodore: The way that the project is framed is that it's something that has to work during the weekday when there are like five people in the courtyard versus on the weekend when there's 5,000 people. The way we've addressed those challenges basically involves the user, which is great.
To what extent was your project informed by previous Young Architects Program projects?
Georgeen Theodore: I think in many ways the projects reflect the spirit of the time, so of course we looked very carefully at all the other projects to understand why they won and what were the things that they contributed to the environment and what they did well. But I think that we really saw this project more in the continuum of our office and the things that we're interested in. For us Hold Pattern is very clearly interwoven with the research arch and design arch of our office. We've dealt with temporary projects before, like with Lent Space
(2009) or with our very first project. We're also very interested in the process of community participation. But also at the core we're also very fascinated by the city, and think it's just amazing raw material for architectural production. So we just try to engage all those things in our projects.
Tobias Armborst: We looked very closely at the former projects and admired them, and admire them ever more having seen what it actually means to pull off a project like that in such a short time.
Georgeen Theodore: We asked members of the community if there was something they need that we could build for Warm Up
and then give to them after the project was over. One of the really funny ones was we had interviewed the Long Island City School of Ballet
and they wanted mirrors, so we have the mirror room. These mirrors will actually go into the Long Island City School of Ballet. We ordered a number of mirrors and then adapted them to the space to create an interesting environment where you get a kind of infinity effect. So for the period of the project we have this weird environment and people at Warm Up
can enjoy it, and then afterwards they go to the ballet school. This kind of effect will play really well with the Warm Up
crowd. It's some kind of play on a minimalist piece and a funhouse.