The Living is the Winner

February 22, 2014

Annually the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 recognize upcoming, young architects from the Young Architects Program (YAP). YAP was established in 2000 and designed to solidify the affiliation between MoMA and MoMA PS1.

They hold a contest each year with the objective to provide visitors a new outdoor recreational area for the summer.  The structure must be a creative design for a temporary outdoor installation that provides shade, seating and water.

This year’s winner is The Living and the project is called Hy-Fi. It is a circular tower made of 100% organic materials. The exterior bricks are both organic and reflective.  The organic bricks are the lower portion of the tower which are specially developed living root structures invented by EcoVative. The top portion of the tower is the reflective bricks, designed by 3M to bounce light down.

“The structure inverts the logic of load-bearing brick construction and creates a gravity-defying effect—instead of being thick and dense at the bottom, it is thin and porous at the bottom. The structure is calibrated to create a cool micro-climate in the summer by drawing in cool air at the bottom and pushing out hot air at the top. The structure creates mesmerizing light effects on its interior walls through reflected caustic patterns. Hy-Fi offers a familiar—yet completely new—structure in the context of the glass towers of the New York City skyline and the brick construction of the MoMA PS1 building.”

The building is a light structure that is completely recyclable. It also is a net-zero carbon emission building.

“The structure temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce a building that grows out of nothing but earth and returns to nothing but earth—with almost no waste, no energy needs, and no carbon emissions.”

This contest recognizing new architects but also encourages the ability to design, technologically advanced structures that push the boundaries of green creations.

Resources:, and



Jennifer Shockley

Jennifer is originally from Colorado and has recently moved back from Michigan. She is finishing up her Master’s degree in Architecture. She is currently focusing on urban planning and sustainable design and hopes to gain employment at a design firm specializing in these areas. Jennifer also has writing experience serving as an editor for her school newspaper and college magazine. Jennifer has two cats named Prada and Dior-aptly named after her shoe obsession. You can follow Jennifer on twitter @jenshock81.