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"Weaving the Courtyard" by Escobedo Soliz | Young Architects Program 2016

Mexico City–based architects Lazbent Escobedo and Andrés Soliz Paz transform MoMA PS1’s courtyard with a suspended canopy of colorful ropes. Escobedo Soliz Studio is this year's winner of the Young Architects Program (YAP). Learn more about "Weaving the Courtyard" and other finalists' designs: http://mo.ma/yap.

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Video transcript

We've been friends since the first semester. And from the first semester, you're bombarded with Gehry and you start to get into the internet and Art Daily. And you see a ton of things that are really colorful with interesting or whimsical shapes. But in some way, I think we were always curious and wanted to look for other kinds of architecture. And we became interested in other types of architects. I think that if there's a building and the outside of it doesn't catch your eye when you pass it on the street, then, you go in and discover there's another universe inside I think this is an important concept when it comes to what we want or try to accomplish each time we design a building. So, this site... a site with lots of strength like this patio with its walls that are 4.8 meters high and in such a cool color, well, not cool, but... - Neutral. - Really neutral and gray. It was impossible to ignore and it was really important for us to adapt the irregular shape of this patio and its walls. To use the walls as a structure. For this process, the concrete was poured in molds, and the holes remained completely hollow and that's something we, don't see often in Mexico. For me, this really caught my attention... how this sort of “scar” has been made in the wall. Andrés said, “We have to use these holes.” So, in order to make a cover using the holes... the easiest way was with threads. It's only a little taut. We had the idea of mist from the beginning, even before we started with the ropes, when we started to think about creating a refreshing atmosphere. We decided to use the gallery that no one uses to create the mist there and make the experience more dense, an atmosphere. Did you take the nozzles out? Good, good, good. I hope it works. How things work is important. You can see how they're made. I think there were three models in two weeks before making the final model. Making a model helps you realize how complicated or easy it will be when you actually build it. How do you make an embankment that will hold, but is also fixed to the ground and also holds sand and well, you have to do it. You have to try, like weaving, and say, we're going to weave. And there were a thousand problems. We have a bit – a piece of wood inside the hole. I don't know how, but we will remove it. We have the opportunity now to build the installation with our own hands. We're having fun. I would love it if everything in life were like this, if you were always involved in all of the processes, and well, it never stops being a game. Truly, for us, architecture is always a game. We want to show you the simplicity of how things are made, so you have no doubts. Actually, architecture should give you answers about how to live in the world.