MoMA PS1 Presents CODA’s Party Wall, The Backdrop to This Summer’s Warm Ups

CODA, an Ithaca-based design firm helmed by Cornell professor Caroline O’Donnell, took this year’s Young Architect Program competition with its designs for a party pavilion of recycled skateboard wood.

The line-up of performers for PS1’s annual series of boozefests hasn’t been announced, but we know we have the Party Wall to look forward to.

Each year (this year marking YAP’s 14th), the outline of the design competition is simple: create a temporary installation for the PS1 courtyard that would provide visitors much-needed shade, seating, and water during the summer Warm Up parties (lest they they drop mid-DJ set from lack of hydration), but each year’s winners exhibit an additional flair, a wow-factor usually tied to innovative sustainability. Following last year’s air-purifying Wendy, this year’s winner, the aptly named Party Wall, recycles the wooden refuse of Ithaca-based skateboard company Comet by weaving them into the structure’s skin.

“CODA’s proposal was selected because of its clever identification and use of locally available resources—the waste products of skateboard-making—to make an impactful and poetic architectural statement within MoMA PS1’s courtyard,” announced Pedro Gadanho, the MoMA curator who oversees YAP.

“Party Wall arches over the various available spaces, activating them for different purposes,” he continued in a statement, “while making evident that even the most unexpected materials can always be reinvented to originate architectural form and its ability to communicate with the public.” Unlike previous years’ designs, the shade comes from the sheer height of the structure, rather than from built canopies. Stages are built into the structure’s base, while polyester sacks of water hang within the structure, Architect’s Newspaper reports, making us weary of walking inside; these follies are known to soak passersby at random intervals.

Party On, PS1.

— Janelle Zara