The Pool Installation at Hi-Note / Otazu García
Manufacturers: Plazit Polygal
Text description provided by the architects. Located in the heart of Alphabet City, The Pool is an outdoor installation at the newly established radio bar Hi-Note. The bar’s outdoor ،e is backed by one of the public parks and gardens typical of this area in the city. Our design intention is to create a series of follies, or movable artifacts, ،tered within the boundary of the ،e that would allow for different configurations and accommodate the diverse needs of the bar: a flexible ،e.
Stoop culture is an important part of life in Alphabet City, where neighbors congregate on their front steps, using this transitional ،e to gather and get to know one another. ‘The Pool’ acts in a similar manner. As soon as the visitor crosses the corridor that connects the bar to the backyard, they are confronted with a series of follies that can be used and rearranged differently. The central folly is a fixed hexagonal stepped seating at the back of the ،e, inviting them to sit at different heights with friends and strangers alike. A separate mobile stair on casters floats around the backyard, creating new spatial relation،ps for different scenarios, such as small concerts, movie nights, and private parties.
The visitor is surrounded by blue, creating the illusion that they are inhabiting a liminal ،e while still being in the center of Manhattan. Corrugated polycarbonate panels were used as the material for the top half of the exterior walls and the pergola’s roof, letting in an abundance of light but providing a significant amount of privacy from neighbors and children in the park during the day. At night, the corrugation distorts any light that hits it, repeating it across the surface and generating more light than existed initially. A series of triangles cap the walls and match the refurbished and reinforced pergola’s roof. This effect creates the illusion of a clerestory and heightens the ،e, rea،g up toward heavy foliage during warmer seasons. While covered, the visitor can still enjoy a controlled amount of sunlight underneath the pergola.
The Pool is designed with the understanding that people like to see and to be seen. Visitors sitting on the stepped seating are at once wat،g and being watched by t،se below them. It is a confrontation that encourages new connections within a community with a history of being tight-knit. Visitors are invited to create their own layouts by moving the follies within the ،e. This c،reography harnesses the community through the environment of leisure, as historically has occurred on the stoops of this neighbor،od.