Sun shelter on Hudson river
kinetic public space
design objective 1
Sustainability, minimalism, function and fun as integral parts of a public space experience

  • typepublic space
  • year | size1997 | 60,000 SF
  • locationHudson River park, New York
  • statusInternational Competition

project statement
Public interaction in operating the kintetic sun shelter

It may sound peculiar, however, this is an idea to create a kinetic sun shelter, operated by its users. The scheme follows a simple rectangular grid with three triangular sail sizes. Each mast is equipped with four manual ratchets, which allow for changing the height of the sail connection in its corners. Thus the spatial disposition and shade cast are constantly varied by the users, depending on the weather and position of the sun. The perpetual morphing of the light shading devices creates a poetic reflection of nature and the overall constant cosmic motion surrounding us. Nevertheless, in this case it depends also on human interaction.

project statement (cont)

P.S. (more than two decades later) Further technology development in recent years has allowed for computer operation of the sails, adding a modular algorithm, which allows for uneven sun adjustment. The fabric of the sails may also be photovoltaic, thus powering the sail operation at day and providing lighting at night. The modular plan of the Sun Shelter and its sustainability make it applicable to any terrain, flat or sloping, urban or natural environment - a functional kinetic sculpture, which can harvest solar energy throughout its lifetime.

design objective 2
Woking out a flexible suspension mast-based grid system, suitable for all terrain
The Sun Shelter competition entry established for us a kinetic sculptural approach, which moves function up to the level of real-time user interaction, a valuable asset in our vocabulary, developing further with all of our sustainable architectural work and related art installations.
from the architect