by: Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP
At an “Archi-Film Mashup,” hosted by SUPERFRONT, Bittertang founders Michael Loverich and Antonio Torres showed videos of humans crawling into animal carcasses for shelter from the cold, as well as Rococo paintings of baby cherubs reaching toward a cloudy sky. These two disparate images surprisingly manifest in their work cohesively, as can be seen in their most recent project, Burble Bup.
Burble Bup is this year’s FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion competition-winning entry. The walls consist of stacked large-scale pink and green nylon stockings stuffed with bark chips. The roof is made from custom-designed inflatables dyed purple and peach. The floor is covered with scattered bark chips. Preliminary renderings looked both fantastical and vaginal at the same time, walking the line between the grotesque and whimsical. The actual structure, now complete and open on Governors Island for the summer, does, as well.
For months, as one of the organizers of the competition and one of the more than 125 volunteers that helped build Burble Bup, I have been looking at the renderings alongside Bittertang’s body of work, which ranges from plush toys and piñatas, to one of the sukkahs installed in Union Square for last year’s Sukkah City, trying to fully make sense of where they are coming from. Now, I see that it is an aspiration to create womb-like spaces — the ideal cozy space that both encloses and protects, permitting visitors to relax and dream.