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Billion Oyster Pavilion

By Susannah Black
March 10, 2015

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…it’s coming to Governors Island this summer– but before we all get to hang out in this thing (and plunder it for BOP infrastructure) we’ll need some serious community participation in the Kickstarter campaign that will make it happen.

Here’s what’s going on: Babak Bryan and Henry Grossman, the team behind innvoative design firm BanG Studios, learned about BOP and, inspired, decided to base their entry for FIGMENT’s City of Dreams competition around the Project.  The Billion Oyster Pavilion will be  “an immersive art space that will help change New York City’s future.”

The background, as they describe it:

The City of Dreams Competition is organized by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) and FIGMENT NY, a non-profit arts organization. The competition brief asked architects and designers to propose a pavilion with the theme “the city of dreams” that would employ recycled or recyclable materials. Out of hundreds of entries, BanGs Billion Oyster Pavilion was chosen as a winner.

The Billion Oyster Pavilion is a temporary pavilion that will make a permanent contribution to New York. All of the materials used to construct the project will be re-used by the Harbor School to re-build oyster habitat in New York’s waterways. As a focal point of the arts festival, the Billion Oyster Pavilion will make the important work being done by the Harbor School visible and tangible for hundreds of thousands of visitors.

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Oysters need a place to live too! The Billion Oyster Pavilion will be turned into two different kinds of housing for oysters at the end of the season. The cast concrete elements at the base of the pavilion are actually BanG’s custom designed “Reef Balls.” The woven canopy will be turned into “Oyster Condos”- metal cages that are filled with old oyster shells. Both the Reef Balls and Oyster Condos will be covered in oyster spat and placed into the harbor to anchor new oyster reefs.

In addition to providing material for hundreds of new reef structures, the Pavilion will also bring publicity and awareness to the Billion Oyster Project. The public will have the opportunity to see and understand two of the key technologies used by the BOP and to learn about their use.

Check out the Kickstarter page to learn more, and see you in the Pavilion this summer!