'parachute pavilion' - nicolas d’angelo, cambridge, usa, 2005.
600m2 exhibition and restaurant pavilion adjacent to the parachute jump in coney island, nyc. submission to an international competition organized by the van allen institute, nyc.
in coney island the present feels more like a kind of future of a mediate past, the riegelmann boardwalk a space as impressive as the central park in manhattan only more fortunate in that it is not yet a vehicle for nyc’s occasional frivolous self adulation, but remains free to reflect time and people in a less expensive, pre-programmed way.
in this land of artifacts, of constructions as mechanisms, as moving machines, a notion of postmodernity is hard to escape, it embraces all. architecture might only serve to recreate, to meticulously complete spaces in small doses that might merge with the scenery.
it is thus less clear then if this project grew out of its own intentions or of the process of gluing together hundreds of small pieces to construct an ‘understanding’ of the tower, of its bold beauty. at one point it just wasn’t easy anymore not to think about circles, hexagons, dodecagons, sixes, twelves, facets, all floating in the air.
the pavilion is inserted on the site as a tripartite building that completes the void left by the elevated boardwalk with a plinth housing the exhibition space, shop and offices. an open space above is partially covered by a suspended steel structure, a rotating restaurant, which projects from a reinforced concrete core that runs through all three levels with services and vertical circulation. people coming from the parking lot can walk through the building into a slope of grass that will lead them to the boardwalk and the beach or back up to the grass roof, in a space that is visually open to the tower, to its feet. upstairs, the rotation of the building creates the peculiar: the view becomes a movie, a continuous strip of vintage coney island landscape...