|Figure 1-A large, walled triangular outdoor gallery space was partially covered with seven shells and included two shallow tidal pools. The structures and pools were manufactured in a workshop and later deployed on site.|
Each year The Museum of Modern Art
and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center conduct
what is known as the P.S.1 / MOMA Young
Architects Program. The competitors vie for
the opportunity to build a temporary architectural
project in the 17,000 square foot
outdoor galleries of P.S.1 in Queens, New
York. The structure serves as a venue for the
popular outdoor music series, "Warm Up"
which runs from June though September
each year and boasts attendance in excess of
100,000 visitors per season.
In April of 2006, Jennifer Lee and Pablo
Castro of Obra Architects, winners of the
Young Architects Program competition contacted
Gougeon Brothers Inc. Obra had an
innovative design for the P.S.1 courtyard project
that included the use of wood and foam
construction techniques and were a natural
application for WEST SYSTEM® products.
The two major features of their project,
known as "Beatfuse", were seven interconnected
domes made of plywood with polypropylene
mesh roofs and two wooden tidal
pools. The wooden tidal pools are where
WEST SYSTEM came in handy. Obra designed
two pools that were constructed of foam and
wood laminated to create both the pools and
the chaise lounges that appear as the
"spokes" in Figure 4. The pools had to be
durable since they would be visited by thousands
of people over the summer without a
great deal of supervision. In addition, the
pools were located outside and had to withstand
the elements while retaining water-
tight joints. All wood pieces were laid out
and formed using CNC technology.
The first step was to laminate the structural
foam layers by spreading mixed epoxy on the
opposing surfaces and clamping with screws.
The foam chaises required seven layers of foam
while the pool bench sides took three layers.
After the laminates cured overnight, the next
step was to lay glass cloth on the side profile
of the foam that would form the pool sides.
The cloth lay-up was covered with release
fabric to achieve a smooth appearance. After
the cloth lay-up cured, the release fabric was
removed and the sides were coated with epoxy
mixed with graphite powder (Figure 2).
The graphite filled coat was followed by two
additional coats of epoxy. The sections were
then flipped over and the other sides were
treated using the same method.
|Figure 2-A worker coats one of the foam and wood laminated chaise lounges with epoxy tinted with graphite powder.
||Figure 3-A worker coats one of the interlocking sections that make up the sides of one of the pools. The sections are laminated foam and wood.|
The next step was to add the plywood tops
and bottoms to the foam pool wall sections.
The foam sections were sanded to open the
pores to promote better adhesion. The mating
surfaces of the foam bottom sections and the
plywood were coated with a slurry of epoxy
thickened with a structural filler and then secured
with screws until they cured (Figure 3).
The sections were then flipped over and the
same procedure was followed for the top
sides. The same procedure was used for assembling
the sections that would make up
the bottom of the pool. The top of the pool
sides and the top of the pool bottom sections
were all covered with three coats of epoxy
and one layer of fiberglass cloth.
All of the bottom sections had narrow lap
joints built into the adjoining sections during
construction which were covered with release
fabric after the last epoxy coat was applied.
When the epoxy cured, the release fabric
was removed exposing a surface that required
no surface preparation before bonding
the sections together, saving valuable labor
All of the sections of the pool sides were cut
with dovetail joints where the sections met
end to end. A similar joint in the center of
each section where the side walls meet the
pool bottom made a solid connection between
the sides and bottom.
|Figure 4-All sections were staged in place before they were bonded with epoxy thickened with a structural filler.|
To complete the assembly, all sections were
staged in place (Figure 4) before the joints
were bonded with epoxy thickened with a
structural filler. All of the seams on the pool
bottom were sealed using 3" cloth tape and
three coats of epoxy (Figure 5). The seams on
the side walls where the wall sections were
joined were handled in the same fashion. Finally,
a fillet was used to create a water tight
seal on the inside of the pool where the side
wall and the pool bottom meet to ensure that
the structure was water tight. Since the project
was temporary and 207 Hardener, which contains
some UV inhibitors, was used, there was
no need to apply a clear varnish top coat.
|Figure 5-All of the seams on the pool bottom were sealed using 3" cloth tape and three coats of epoxy.
||Figure 6-Large crowds enjoyed the "Warm Up" music series, as well as the inviting space and cooling tidals pools of the Beatfuse project.|
As the photos demonstrate,
Beatfuse and Warmup were a big success
(Figure 6). Obra Architects have been recognized
in the architectural design community
with articles appearing as far away as Japan
in the prestigious "A+U" (Architecture and
Urbanism) magazine. Pablo Castro and
Jennifer Lee created a warm and inviting
space in a bare courtyard in Long Island,
Queens. We at Gougeon Brothers were very
pleased that our products and technical assistance
could play a small part in such a visionary
and successful project.
|Figure 7-The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, site of Beatfuse, the winner of the 2006 Young Architects Program competition.|
Beatfuse was designed by Jennifer Lee and Pablo Castro of Obra Architects of New York, www.obraarchitects.com.