Every summer, NYC-based modern-art museum MoMA PS1 holds a contest where architects and designers can submit their ideas for an interactive courtyard installation that can host the organization's weekly dance parties. This year's winner, the "Party Wall," is the brainchild of Caroline O'Donnell and her architecture studio, CODA, and uses the throwaway bits from skate-deck manufacturing to give shelter to visitors. Once the sunlight catches the installation at just the right angle, it begins to cast shadows that form the word "WALL" -- a bonus visual element that is both subtle and playful.
Part of the beauty of the Party Wall is that bits of the structure pull away from the main frame and reveal themselves as uncut skateboards that are to be used as makeshift seats.
Party Wall designer O'Donnell was born in Ireland and immersed herself in the infamous Madchester rave scene during her undergrad years at the Manchester School of Architecture in England. Conceptualizing an installation that would help facilitate massive dance parties seems a natural extension of her formative years.
Trash to Treasure
Comet Skateboards partnered with artist/architect Caroline O'Donnell to provide materials for the Party Wall project -- mostly discarded pieces of wood left over from the company's deck manufacturing. Comet graphics adorn this pull-out board, which functions as an interactive part of the structure.
Cool It Down
In addition to the misting system, the Party Wall structure features mini-pools that provide visitors a chance to dip their toes and get some relief from the relentless New York City heat.
Using "green" matter to build the Party Wall structure was important to O'Donnell, and Comet Skateboards was the perfect partner. The Ithaca, N.Y.-based company uses environmentally conscious materials in their board construction, including a proprietary glue that is formaldehyde-free, and donated to the project thousands of cutouts left over from shaping their decks.
By day, the Party Wall misters bring the hot temps down as visitors attend lectures and other functions at MoMA PS1. By night, the lights turn on and the light spray cools off attendees of the "Warm Up" weekly dance party hosted at the space.
Warm Up 2013
MoMA PS1's "Warm Up" dance-party series runs all summer long. It's a curated affair that showcases a variety of music and DJs from all over the world and has been happening every Saturday, rain or shine, for the last 15 years in the museum's courtyard.