The cabbage has sprouted. The tomatoes are doing well. The farm in Queens is officially up and running. WORK Architecture Company, a New York-based firm, recently completed its installation at P.S.1, transforming the contemporary art museum’s two adjoining courtyards into a community agricultural project—and an imaginative architectural composition. This Saturday, July 5, the installation will become one of New York City’s hottest summer party venues, as the museum kicks off its “Warm Up” music series, hosted every Saturday in the courtyard through September 6.
WORK was the winner of this year’s Young Architects Program, sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art and its Queens affiliate, P.S.1. For nine years, the invited competition has allowed a young firm to design a temporary installation for the P.S.1 courtyards. With a design brief that stipulates only the provision of seating, shade and water, many of the winning teams have explored form, material or methods of fabrication. Previous installations include a bamboo canopy (nARCHITECTS), a dunescape/urban beach (SHoP), and a carnivalesque mylar tent (Ball-Nogues). The projects have been fairly innovative, but with the program approaching its tenth year, the hushed question has arisen: how many times could emerging architects explore materials and form before the program lost its edge?