FIGMENT, ENYA, and SEAoNY announce finalists for 2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition on Roosevelt Island

February 20, 2020

New York, NY January 20, 2020 – FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) are excited to announce five finalists for the 2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition:

  • Ecosphere by Murr Architecken (Sebastian Ballauf, Daniela Ditta, Oliver Jahnke, Carlos Martinez, Katherina Murr, Sebastian Murr, and Bojan Vucen)
  • LaLuna by Guilia Ma with Space Travellers and Michele Versaci, in collaboration with Ilaria Bellotti and Masoud Khodadadi
  • The Pneuma by Ying Qi Chen and Ryan Somerville
  • Repose Pavilion by Parsa Khalili in collaboration with Bernhard Karpf
  • Wall of Inclusion by Ana Morcillo Pallares, Jonathan Rule, Olaia Chivite Amigo, and Maria Arquero de Alarcón

Ecosphere by Murr Architecken (Sebastian Ballauf, Daniela Ditta, Oliver Jahnke, Carlos Martinez, Katherina Murr, Sebastian Murr, and Bojan Vucen)
A green sphere created by plants and light, framed by a rigid scaffolding structure, evokes creative memories and fantasies and invites interaction, discussion, and interpretation, promoting awareness of our connection to the planet. Ecosphere’s open structure at the ground level allows visitors to enter and find covered, intimate places in the middle of the Lighthouse Park. The pavilion provides a backdrop for performances, lectures, music, shows, and more. Ecosphere can serve as a unifying symbol, representing the natural environment in an artificial surrounding, and a bright illuminated celebration of the future.

LaLuna by Guilia Ma with Space Travellers and Michele Versaci, in collaboration with Ilaria Bellotti and Masoud Khodadadi
LaLuna means the Moon, and with this pavilion, we want to bring it down to Earth. Visitors approaching the pavilion will perceive its lightness—the rustling fabric, the sounds of the wind passing through—while its solid structure will inspire safety. Entering the temple LaLuna will be a unique sensorial experience. Time will fade away. You’ll be barefoot and you’ll have to choose where to enter, how to move inside, and what to see first. You will be free to sit in the sand and meditate. We want you to tap into your inner guide, your intuition.

The Pneuma by Ying Qi Chen and Ryan Somerville
Efficiency, in the world of construction, hinges on two factors: weight-to-volume ratio and scalability. The Pneuma rejects traditional methods of building with rigid and massive materials, opting instead to use air. Although air is frequently explored as a building medium, there has yet to be a standardized mode of construction with it. In response, The Pneuma uses a finite set of mass-produced materials and typical assembly details to create an infinite set of formal expressions. Using recycled exercise balls, Cradle to Cradle Fabric (Mermet GreenScreen Evolve 10%), and rented scaffolding (Colgate Scaffolding NYC), the pavilion is a collection of amorphous geometries that morph from canopies to seating elements. The taut fabric registers nuanced air pressure changes in the inflated balls, generating an unlimited array of forms with a limited set of modules.

Repose Pavilion by Parsa Khalili
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act introduced the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” forty years ago. This proposal replaces the first stipulation of the mantra, reduce, with repose, which acts as a semiotic device and serves a conceptual function, being both instrumental and motivational. Repose is a basic property of materiality and an intrinsic form-finding device; it also serves as a call to action and the very human act underlying the pavilion’s purpose. There is a balance and order in the natural world that humanity has long tested, and today we are evermore at its inflection point. Repose Pavilion seeks to expose this instability and derive a language that informs, directs, and challenges architectural notions.

Wall of Inclusion by Ana Moricllo Pallares, Jonathan Rule, Olaia Chivite Amigo, and Maria Arquero de Alarcón
The wall, an architectural element of enclosure and separation, is reconceived. Instead of a dividing line, the wall acts as a mechanism of physical and political inclusion, a gathering place that blurs divisions and invites occupation. The structure is made of pre-cut and pre-assembled reclaimed scraps of structurally insulated panels. Different configurations support a variety of activities and generate pockets of occupiable space. They invite the community to sit, recline, and engage. At an urban scale, the pavilion’s linearity establishes a dialogue with the surrounding context as a billboard of awareness. At a local scale, it serves as an apparatus that frames views of the city beyond. Once disassembled and reconfigured into planters, the Wall of Inclusion will continue to bring life to the city.

The five finalists have responded to jury comments and have refined their designs in response. The jury will reconvene to review the revised designs and select a winner by the end of January. The winning team will then construct their design in time for the opening of FIGMENT NYC on Roosevelt Island, where the pavilion will remain for the summer 2020 season.

2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Jury

  • Victoria Arbitrio, PE, SECB, F.SEI, Associate Partner, Gilsanz Murray Steficek
  • Scott W Briggs, AIA, Senior Associate, Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership
  • David Eugin Moon, AIA, Partner, NHDM Architects PLLC; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
  • Martin Hopp, AIA, RIBA, Principal, Martin Hopp Architect
  • Katie Yamasaki, Muralist, Children’s Book Author; Illustrator MFA, School of Visual Arts New York

As the winners of 2019 competition, Somewhere Studio’s Jessica Colangelo, Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas, and Charles Sharpless, AIA, lecturer at the University of Arkansas, will serve as design mentors to the finalists and winning design team.

High-resolution images of the finalists are available here.

For more information about the pavilion visit:

Donations to support the pavilion and other FIGMENT projects can be made at:


The City of Dreams Pavilion competition is a collaboration between FIGMENT, the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) that invites designers toto design and construct an architectural pavilion on Roosevelt Island. The 2020 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition is the competition’s ninth iteration. The winning pavilion will be installed on Roosevelt Island for the 2020 summer season. The pavilion will open as part of from the FIGMENT NYC, from June 1-2, and will remain on view through late August.

The City of Dreams Pavilion is a gathering place for people to meet, enjoy a performance or lecture, and experience the interaction of art and history in Roosevelt Island. The title of the pavilion competition looks toward the future. If we imagine a New York City where anything is possible, what would it look like? In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city? Today, economic and natural resources are limited; a new way of thinking is necessary to solve the problems faced by the world. The City of Dreams Competition asks entrants to design a temporary structure in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. Designers must consider the entire life cycle of the building materials in their submission, either by identifying companies that produce “cradle to cradle” products, garnering sponsorships from environmental or socially conscious groups, or re-using waste from construction sites. Ultimately, the goal is to create a pavilion that has net zero impact and that serves as a prototype for a new, truly sustainable way of thinking about design and construction.

FIGMENT catalyzes and celebrates an abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artists and our communities to find new ways to create, share, think, and dream. FIGMENT’s free annual participatory arts event began in New York City in 2007 and has expanded to have 69 events in 20 cities in 5 countries. In New York, FIGMENT hosts a weekend-long participatory art event (June 1-2 in 2019) on Roosevelt Island. For more information, visit

FIGMENT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization entirely funded by grants and individual donations. FIGMENT accepts no corporate sponsorship of any kind. FIGMENT NYC is supported by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, as well as by the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

About the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee
It is the goal of the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee to encourage membership, participation, and leadership in the Chapter and profession among intern architects, young architects (licensed 10 years or less), and emerging professionals in the fields of design and construction. The committee engages NYC’s diverse emerging design professionals through lectures, design competitions, and networking opportunities.

Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter’s members include more than 5,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.

SEAoNY is a member organization of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations. Presently, 39 states and the District of Columbia have structural engineers’ associations, the largest of which is SEAOC, Structural Engineers Association of California, which was founded in 1930 and presently has approximately 4000 members.

The association sponsors workshops, panel discussions, lectures and seminars with the aim of addressing topics of interest and concern to structural engineers. Our membership, which is over 500 members, includes individuals from most major structural engineering design firms in New York State. SEAoNY also reaches out to other professionals outside the engineering community who work in related fields with common interests. Currently, 10% of our membership are affiliate members who come from a variety of disciplines such as geotechnical, civil, construction management, and architecture. The purpose of SEAoNY is to advance the art of structural engineering in New York by improving the flow of ideas and building the community of colleagues.



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