The City of New York currently provides active permits to 9,053 sidewalk sheds. Together, these enclosures stretch nearly 330 miles, nearly 25 times the length of Manhattan. Incidental to the “real” architecture and construction of actual buildings, these structures almost exclusively inhabit public space, yet they offer nothing more to the public than protection from falling debris or the occasional rainstorm.
Materially, these sidewalk sheds utilize a strict palette of modular steel and plywood paneling, all painted the NYC building code-required “Hunter Green”. The average period of deployment for a sidewalk shed is around 300 days, yet some have remained in place more than 14 years (and are still standing). Given the typically quick turnaround, the modular sections are shuttled between many sites over the course of their lifetimes; what one day offers shade to seamstresses and deliverymen in the Garment District may the next perturb nearby neighbors in the ritzier streets of Brooklyn Heights.
Hunter Green, the pavilion, seeks to intervene on the material cycles of the ubiquitous sidewalk shed, by sequestering a batch of these shed panels on the site in Roosevelt Island between jobs. It would be the first such structure employing these materials which subverts their intended function by focusing not on public exclusion, but on public engagement. The successive hexagonal layers step back and up creating a starkly monumental architectural form, but one that is completely porous with openings on all sides and in all layers.