The Fabric Structure of Tomorrow?

nys81Recently there has been a lot of press on the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair in New York City and the Tent of Tomorrow.

Designed by Architect Philip Johnson, the structures debuted to the world on April 22, 1964 and quickly became among its most popular attractions.

5322884763_2918e3d37c_zTents of this size are now called “fabric structures” and radial design roofs are very common today mostly for sport stadium roofs.

As for the Future of the Tent of Tomorrow, there is much debate about what to do with it now.

The pavilion’s 16-100′ tall concrete columns (which are still in good shape)  supported a then “state of the art” 50,000 sqft foot translucent, multicolored fiberglass tile.

64-tent-tomorrowAs far as I know, there are two options on the table: $15 million to tear it down or $50-75 million to restore it to its original form.

Tearing it down will leave a space that many will fight over for years. Restoring it will create a tourist attraction in my opinion not worth visiting.

Here is a suggestion:

etfe_projects_earthbackWhy not build the Fabric Structure of Today.

The roof can made with solar panels that open an close and provide energy to the city. The walls made of ETFE can enclose a vertical farm that produces food. The structure can be designed to collect water which can be used for a number of things. Add a wind turbine too.

Who pays for it? We do. Who benefits? We do.

The Fabric Structure of Tomorrow should be a machine for Living, Teaching, Researching, Producing, Growing and Enjoying. Its more than just shade.

 

 

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One response to “The Fabric Structure of Tomorrow?

  1. Sam, this sounds an excellent and very interesting idea for a design competition for students and practitioners, perhaps some new interesting conceptual ideas could come out of it that could serve as a springboard for “preserving” an iconic landmark that had its mark in the past but could also support something “fresh and new”, it would be like having a strong base for a futuristic expression, certainly those strong and massive reinforced concrete columns will provide a good basis for something that could even be more monumental to what is there right now and go from the past to the future maintaining some good basis … “kind of the new Bauhaus for future generations”, incorporating sustainable materials and concepts. The wineer will have … ??? I don’t know … perhaps a ticket to the new generation of expressive practical designs hall of fame for Fabric Architecture..

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