Recess

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Recess is a break from the norm – whether it is the time that we take off from work in order to play or the space that we go to for some rest from the activities that surround us. As an economic phenomenon – recession – it is also the period when we collectively question our material values in the face of reduced resources. The proposed pavilion engages with the realities of a material culture that is in recession, while creating opportunities for the pleasure, fun and relaxation that define summer recess. Architecturally, the pavilion provides an intimate pocket of space amidst the landscaped grounds of Governors Island where visitors can find a refuge from the afternoon sun or the unexpected summer shower, but also gather, lounge, nap, and daydream.  

In New York City, economic ups and down are perhaps most visibly perceived through building construction and retail activities. Construction scaffolding and shopping bags reference the two industries respectively and act as a material index to the economies of each. In our project, rented scaffolding is transformed into a one-of-a- kind structure through customized installation, a temporary break from its usual role at construction sites. Used plastic bags are unfolded, layered and heat-fused together to make a sturdy and graphically abstract cladding material for the pavilion. The act of remaking the material into a building product not only extends the shopping bag’s lifespan as a useful artifact, but also acts as a coordinated effort to gather as many discarded bags as possible so that they can be directed toward an appropriate recycling center rather than into the landfill.  

Recess was a collaboration between Matt Hutchinson of PATH and Igor Siddiqui of isssstudio. 

Arthitectural. "ISSSStudio & PATH | Recess.” Published July 2, 2013.