Playa Urbana / Urban Beach

The project begins from the conceptual basis of blending the terms and associated ideas of surf, surface, and sensuality as they relate to the natural landscape, the urban landscape and the landscape of the body. Three biomorphic surfaces/buildings are developed to redefine shade, privacy, and space within the existing courtyard. Three rectilinear reflecting/wading pools mark the “new” landscape of the courtyard.

The surface of these pools is flat when not occupied, allowing the reflected light and color of the sky to define the body of the container. The contoured interior landscape of the pools is developed based on the same conceptual criteria as the shade surfaces. With the addition of the thickness of the water, acting as a type of lens, the body of the pool develops a complex relationship to its color and its contour, connecting itself visually with the shading surfaces and the “idea” of the beach, thus compressing the entire assembly.

One, almost archeological, an aspect of the installation, which blended with the overriding conceptual idea of surf, surface, and sensuality, is the transposition of urban landscape data from Mexico City to the courtyard via digital mapping. The intent of this mapping is to create a direct relationship or dialogue between PS1’s summer exhibition of the art and artifacts of Mexico City (inside) and a digital sampling of urban space from Mexico City (outside).

playa urbana -1

All the constructed material that comprise the built aspect of this project are filtered through a series of construction techniques and computer technology developed principally by its author as a way of moving directly from abstraction to architectural space. The shade spaces are constructed of PVC pipe and laser-cut steel. Our studio deconstructs the entire project in the computer, producing sections/drawings which are sent digitally to the laser-cutting facility to be fabricated with no other mediation.

The pools are constructed in a similar fashion from polystyrene foam with the use of a computer numerically controlled milling machine. The foam is then sprayed with a flexible plastic utilized in industrial processes such as oil pipeline and truck-bed linings.

playa urbana - 2

Our studio deconstructs the entire project in the computer, producing sections/drawings which are sent digitally to the laser-cutting facility to be fabricated with no other mediation. The pools are constructed in a similar fashion from polystyrene foam with the use of a computer numerically controlled milling machine. The foam is then sprayed with a flexible plastic utilized in industrial processes such as oil pipeline and truck-bed linings.