Andrés Jaque’s Water-Purifying Pavilion To Take Center Stage at MOMA PS1

Andrés Jaque COSMOLast summer, The Living’s biodegradable Hy-Fi Mushroom Tower cooled MoMA PS1’s Warm Up series-goers. Those hitting up the popular music series this summer will have a new courtyard pavilion to dance around as The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 recently announced the winner of their 2015 Young Architects Program (YAP) Competition. Designed by Andrés Jaque and his team at the Office for Political Innovation, the water-purifying pavilion, COSMO, will both cool off and educate museum visitors about the lack of clean drinking water in many parts of the world.

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Andrés Jaque’s design was drawn from among five finalists for YAP, now in its 16th edition, which has been committed to giving emerging architectural talent the chance to design and present their innovative projects. Each year, winners are challenged to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 to provide shade, seating, and water for museum-goers in the summer. Participants must also address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling.

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COSMO will make its debut at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City in late June. Constructed as a moveable artifact, the pavilion is created out of customized irrigation components as a visible assemblage of ecosystems based on advanced environmental design. It is engineered to filter and purify 3,000 gallons of water, eliminating suspended particles and nitrates, balancing the PH, and increasing the level of dissolved oxygen. It takes four days for the 3,000 gallons of water to purify. The cycle repeats itself with the same body of water, becoming more purified with every cycle. The stretched-out plastic mesh at the core of COSMO’s complex and advanced biochemical design even glows automatically whenever the water has been purified, giving the Warm Up summer music series a dynamic backdrop.

Andrés Jaque COSMORenderings of Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation’s COSMO, winning design of the 2015 Young Architects Program. The Museum of Modern Art and MoMAPS1. Images courtesy of Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation.

Jaque and his team address the United Nations statistic that an estimated two thirds of the global populations will live in countries that lack sufficient water by 2025. COSMO aims to raise awareness and create a dialogue around this issue. They also hope the design will serve as an easily replicable prototype to give people access to clean drinking water all around the world.

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“This year’s proposal takes one of the Young Architects Program’s essential requirements–providing a water feature for leisure and fun–and highlights water itself as a scarce resource,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, in MoMA PS1’s press release. “Relying on off-the-shelf components from agro-industrial origin, an exuberant mobile architecture celebrates water-purification processes and turns their intricate visualization into an unusual backdrop for the Warm Up sessions.”

Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large adds “Last year Hy-Fi, a nearly zero carbon footprint construction by The Living, raised awareness of ecological and climate change. This year COSMO continues to do so, addressing the issue of increasingly scarce water supplies worldwide in a successful and innovative way.”

The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were Brillhart Architecture (Jacob Brillhart), Erin Besler, The Bittertang Farm (Michael Loverich) and Studio Benjamin Dillenburger (Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer). In addition to Andrés Jaque and his team’s COSMO installation at MoWA PS1, an exhibition of the five finalists’ proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer.

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What do you think of the Andrés Jaque COSMO design for the Warm Up Series this summer?

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