Competition to design innovative street fair tent in New York for Arts and Ideas Festival. Sponsored by the Storefront for Architecture and the New Museum
design team_ Shane Neufeld + Kevin Kunstadt
The hopscotch course is typically drawn on pavement with chalk. the course is generally linear, and often numbered. it provides a basic narrative of navigation through an urban environment, and asks the game-player to engage in an acutely active manner with the street — to make their way across it and back again. the Bowery Hopscotch presents this same possibility for playful, fun, exploratory, and ordered engagement with the urban environment, albeit on a grander scale.
The project consists of four distinct structural typologies — named for the kid-relationships which they personify: “Sibling Rivalry,” “Twins,” “Oldest / Youngest,” and “Only Child” — that offer distinct possibilities as individual isolated structures as well as for playful and varied interaction amongst each other. Thus the kid-structures are played out down the street and invite the public to play through them.
The original form of each typology is generated by the simple gesture of cutting and folding an individual sheet of material upon itself. While the final form of the structure is realized through the division of these forms into smaller portable components which when re-mated to each other ‘remember’ their original form and supply the material’s inherent curvature (much like a sail). This structural model dismantles the traditional skin-post dichotomy of the tent and supplies a single self-structuring skin which is light, cheap, and relies on only the simplest nuts and bolts to assemble.
As this skin curves upon itself and meets the ground it produces walls with inherent directional hierarchy. This hierarchy is easily exploited once the individual units are joined, to create large dynamic groups with circulatory bias; the simplest configurations of the four typologies allow for the creation of complex interior spaces, porous boundaries, edge conditions, and meandering alley-ways which beg for specific and varied programmatic uses. the four typologies offered — and the childlike exuberance which they embody — beg the pedestrian to hopscotch through them, and through the city streets that they both inhabit.