Location: New York, NY, United States
Completion date: 2022
Eric Logan, Sarah Kennedy, Bryan James, Jeffrey Johnston
Exhibit Patron, Steel Supplier, Fabricator
Wood Supplier, Wood Fabricator
Light Fixture Provider
Leonid Furmansky, Andres Orozco, Kevin Scott
Created for Design Pavilion and the NYCxDesign Festival, FILTER carves out a space for quiet re-centering within the frenetic energy of Times Square. Designed as both a monumental object and an ephemeral experience, the pavilion establishes a new node in the heart of New York City’s urban fabric – reorienting that experience toward the natural, rather than the man-made. Evoking the rugged Wyoming landscape from which is originates, FILTER draws the visitor into its flowing folds of weathered steel and timber. At the pavilion’s center, a lone tree embodies the ecological cycles and servers as a counterpoint to Manhattan’s urbanity.
Our motivation for this exhibit was to bring the solitude that our Wyoming landscape provides to the urban environment. Our connection to the Rocky Mountain West, to nature, and to the introspection that this setting offers, is persistently apparent in our work. We wanted to create an experiential installation that captured a sense of solitude and connection to nature in a setting that is constantly moving and full of manufactured activity. In a less abstract sense, an opportunity to bring a feeling of the natural environment of the Rocky Mountain West to the urban landscape of New York City.
FILTER began as a simple diagram – a folded sheet of paper, carefully sliced, and able to stand on its own. Our team translated this tectonic into full-scale existence through a series of standard-sized, half-inch hot-rolled steel plates, or “chaps,” arranged to form a 24-foot diameter, 20-foot tall ellipsoid. FILTER is the result of a close collaborative process, drawing on the expertise of over one-hundred craftsmen, engineers, and designers at nine firms spanning North America. From British Columbia to New York City, this wide-reaching root system provided the physical materials and skills as well as the conceptual impetus for the pavilion, which transplants a fragment of the Rocky Mountain West into a bustling East Coast metropolis.
The logistics of the design detailing, fabrication, transportation, assembly, and Times Square limitations were carefully considered. FILTER’s foundation was divided into three pieces for ease of transportation and assembly. Once assembled, the tree was placed, and the fins were erected around it. The 50,000-pound structure was self-supporting and engineered to resist hurricane force wind loads. The steel infrastructure was design to support the fins and spread the pavilion’s weight to prevent pavement damage. To account for sloping ground surface, it was adjustable in height to maintain a level surface and code compliant ramps. After working through 40 hours of rain to complete the installation, FILTER stood in Times Square for nine days and was visited by over 300,000 people. Its purity in form and naturally patinated material surfaces give it a timeless presence, aged and weathered in the western landscape it represents. When it reaches its final resting point in Sheridan, Wyoming FILTER’s patina will reflect the accumulations of both dry western air and East Coast salinity, forging connections across geography. As our team explains, the structure presents “an offering, FILTER changes the environment and creates its own.”