Press Releases

June 15, 2014

The 2015 City of Dreams Pavilion Design Competition

New York City, June 15, 2014 - Since Governors Island first opened to the public in 2004, the attention and interest that this new public place has received has increased exponentially. In 2013, over 400,000 people visited the island through its summer season to engage in a variety of arts and cultural programs, as well as to enjoy summertime activities like picnicking and bike riding on the island.

FIGMENT has teamed with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) to host a competition to design and construct an architectural pavilion on Governors Island called the City of Dreams Pavilion, now in its fifth year. The result of our first competition, in 2010, was the Living Pavilion,designed by Ann Ha, Assoc. AIA, and Behrang Behin, Assoc. AIA. Bittertang’s Burble Bup was the winner of our second competition in 2011. Head in the Clouds by StudioKCA was installed in 2013 and won a Best of Year award from Interior Design Magazine in the installation category. Our most recent pavilion is Governors Cup by CDR Studio, which was installed on Governors Island for the 2014 summer season and is open to the public every day from June 7 to September 21, 2014.

We are excited to announce we are now accepting entries for The City of Dreams 2015 Pavilion Design Competition!

The City of Dreams Pavilion will be a gathering place for people to meet, learn about the arts programs on the island, enjoy a performance or lecture, and experience the interaction of art and the historic context of Governors Island. Our theme for the pavilion, the City of Dreams, points toward the future. If we imagine a future New York City where anything is possible, what would it look like? In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city?
The current state of the world is such that both economic and natural resources are extremely limited. A new way of thinking is necessary to solve the problems that the world faces. Inevitably, the result will be a change in the basic practices that have driven the world to its current state. One place to start to activate and energize these changes is within the architecture and design community, where the movement toward sustainable design has only scratched the surface of what is possible and necessary.
The City of Dreams 2015 Pavilion Design Competition will be a two-stage process, in which a jury of leading architects and other industry professionals will review initial submissions and select a number of finalists. These finalists will receive comments and will have the opportunity to revise their proposals. The jury will meet again and select the competition winner in November 2014.

To Submit a Proposal:
First, register by August 15, 2014, at The competition entry fees (which will be applied to the costs of building and maintaining the winning entry) are as follows:

• Student entries - $20
• Individual entries - $50
• Group entries (including groups of students) - $80

After you have registered, you will receive a link to download a submission packet with the City of Dreams Pavilion 2015 Design Guide and reference images of Governors Island, previous City of Dreams Pavilion competition winners, and other FIGMENT projects that have been built
on the island.

Then, submit your City of Dreams Pavilion proposal by 11:59pm ET on September 2, 2014. Our jury will meet and we will notify all finalists by September 30, 2014.

Entries are encouraged from individuals or teams of architects and non-architects of any age or experience level, provided they are prepared to carry out the project. Attribution of the winner and finalists will be given based on the names of the individuals who enter, rather than to any firm with whom they are affiliated.

Proposal Criteria
Unlike a typical design competition, the City of Dreams Pavilion asks entrants to consider how they will construct this temporary structure in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. Entrants should consider the entire lifecycle of building materials in their submission. Whether they do this by identifying companies that produce “cradle to cradle” products, garnering sponsorships from environmental or socially conscious groups, or re-using waste from construction sites, the materials used and the installation process should have as little impact as possible on the environment.

Entrants should submit where their materials are to come from, how their structures will be transported to the site, how they will eliminate waste during installation, and how they plan to disassemble and reuse the materials after the island closes for the season. In other words, entrants are being asked to consider using "borrowed" materials—from existing construction sites and from places where the materials can be returned after the season is over and the temporary structure is disassembled.
In the end, the goal is to create a pavilion that has a net zero impact and that serves as a prototype for a new, truly sustainable, way of thinking about design and construction.

We anticipate that the pavilion will be installed on the South Parade Grounds on Governors Island. However, this placement is pending approval and is subject to change.

Essential requirements of the proposal are as follows:
• Create a gathering place for 50 or more people, providing shade and rain cover
• Provide an integrated performance area/stage for small dance performances, music ensembles, and/or spoken word productions
• Consider the full lifecycle of the materials used—where they come from and where they will go after the island closes for the 2014 season
• Provide for the design and installation of the project, including sourcing all materials
• All materials must be able to be transported on the Coursen Ferry (12’ clearance)
• The structure must be freestanding and cannot penetrate the ground to a depth greater than 6”
• The design will require approval from a number of public agencies prior to installation, which may include the Trust for Governors Island, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and the NYC Department of Buildings
• Include a budget that anticipates all costs of fabrication, transportation, installation, and de-installation

Optional considerations:
• How will the pavilion support educating the public about arts programs on the island?
• How will the pavilion support informal performances or lectures?
• What other kinds of activities could take place in the pavilion?

Selection criteria that the jury will consider:
• Proposal feasibility and buildability
• Lifecycle considerations and overall environmental impact
• Adherence to theme
• Design impact
• Innovative use of materials
• Visitor safety: the design should not give visitors the opportunity to climb or hang on the pavilion, or do anything that would be a risk to their safety

Kathy Creutzburg, Multi-Media Artist/Sculptor
Jason Klimoski, AIA, Co-Founder, STUDIOKCA (2013 City of Dreams Pavilion Winner - Head in the Clouds)
Nat Oppenheimer, Executive Vice President, Robert Silman Associates
Eva Perez de Vega, Partner, e+i studio
Alexander Levi, AIA, Principal, SLO Architecture
Lori Zimmer, Writer. Inhabitat
Mentor: Marc Bailly, AIA, Architect, Bially & Bially

Proposal Requirements
As this is a blind competition, the entries should not disclose the name(s) of the entrant(s) in the content of the PDF file, only in the covering email and in the name of the PDF file. Please do give your pavilion design a name and include this name on each page of your submission. To ensure anonymity, it is important that the name for your pavilion is specific to the project and does not have any relation to your personal name or the name of any firm or organization that you may be associated with.

Your entry should include a total of three (3) 11”x 17” pages in landscape format, saved into a single PDF file, as follows:

Page 1-2: Proposed Design
Please include graphics that show how your project will look and how it will be constructed. Please feel free to use any graphic style that is comfortable for you: hand-drawn, Sketchup, Illustrator, CAD are all perfectly acceptable. The most important thing is clarity. Please make sure these pages are labeled with the name of your proposed design.

Page 3: Supporting documentation
• Please detail what materials you plan to use for the project, bearing in mind the full lifecycle of the materials used: Where do they come from? Where do they go after the project is de-installed?
• Please include a budget that shows your budget for materials and expenses. Designers will be reimbursed for materials purchased up to a certain amount yet to be determined, pending fundraising for this project.

If you have any questions about the 2015 City of Dreams Pavilion competition, please email them to

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