The winning proposal will reuse old metal grain bins (silos), vestiges of the American agro-industrial age, hearkening back to how the medieval inhabitants of Rome reoccupied the remains of the Ancient Empire—with a bizarre combination of pragmatism and poetry. The grain bin is our contemporary spolia; as such these structures can be both useful and fanciful. The bins, which dot the fields of upstate New York, will be brought to the city, establishing a visual connection between urban and rural modes of living. A field of elevated oculi will frame unobstructed views of the sky and track the path of the sun, producing a range of shadow patterns augmented by color and sound. The interiors of these suspended rooms will be painted a particular color of the daytime sky, inviting viewers to negotiate their paths below the structures. As viewers look up through the oculi, the colors of the walls of the silo will at times match the color of the sky. Following the de-installation of Oculi, the bins will be reconstructed as an experimental housing cluster in central New York. There, interior views into the repurposed bins will occasionally reveal colors of a New York City summer sky. The team will work with FIGMENT, ENYA, SEAoNY, and Governors Island to select the exact site for Oculi, refine the design, obtain necessary approvals, and fabricate and install the pavilion on the island.


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