Just in time for New York’s first real heatwave of the season, a new installation by 2019 Young Architects Program (YAP) winners Pedro & Juana has opened, setting the stage for MoMA PS1’s annual Warm Up summer concert series. Hórama Rama—a 40-foot-high, 90-foot-wide cyclorama—brings seating, shade, and even a waterfall to the museum’s courtyards in Long Island City, Queens.
Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Ruess, who are a couple, founded Pedro & Juana in Mexico City in 2011. Their winning scheme, chosen from five finalists, creates an urban playground of scaffolding, partly shaded by the elevated cylindrical form and some 2,000 2-by-6-foot protruding wood “bristles.” Ruiz Galindo says they “wanted to get above the walls” with their design, and used the cyclorama to connect the museum’s two main courtyards.
Plywood stools and benches are scattered around the space, while bright pink hammocks strung throughout the scaffolding provide additional seating and respite from the heat. A tropical print vinyl mesh screen lines the inside of the elevated cylinder—a cheeky juxtaposition of nature into an otherwise industrial setting. In the smaller courtyard adjacent to the main space, water pumped skyward via a pink pipe spills out of an opening in the cyclorama’s verdant screen, splashing down into a raised pink pool.
The structure was assembled on-site by Ruiz Galindo, Ruess, and a team of 14 volunteers over two and a half weeks. Though RECORD has previously reported that YAP winners receive $15,000 for design development and $100,000 for build-out (in addition to $5,000 each finalist receives for design and model development), this year’s budget was not disclosed.
“We really wanted to bring something other, something foreign—even momentarily—to this place,” Ruiz Galindo told RECORD. In theory, adding a waterfall and hammocks to the concrete jungle would indeed bring a foreign element to PS1, but the irony of doing so amidst metal scaffolding and wood beams in the perpetual construction zone that is Long Island City seems too rich to be overlooked. Will New Yorkers appreciate the “otherness” in Pedro & Juana’s vision, or will Hórama Rama be viewed as yet another unfinished development?
Hórama Rama, as well as an indoor exhibition featuring this year’s finalist proposals and past winners of the program—which is now in its 20th year—will be on view through September 2.