New Affiliates: Roof Cuttings
One of six installations for the digital exhibition by winners of the 2020 League Prize.
In planning this virtual exhibition, we ended up going in the opposite direction—we decided to embrace the physical, to get dirty and make something in the ground. We wanted to think of New York as a site, and to plan a show that could engage movement across its streets. The city would be our gallery; the show’s circulation a day-long journey.
In designing each structure for this exhibition, we started with a question: what is the smallest architectural gesture that can produce some value? Thinking back to Laugier’s Hut… a piece of roof and minimal structure? A momentary environment or atmosphere? An interior? We designed a structure for a single occupant—a shade and a seat—that we could test in New York’s community gardens where we’ve been spending some time over the last few years.* Each one of five roofs is made of scavenged pieces of greenhouse sheathing and aluminum siding reassembled into unobtrusive forms. To stand beneath them is like being under some trees, or some clouds. They’re a short pause growing in the city’s vibrant clearings, between its developments and its expansion. We imagine these are part of a larger roof, dispersed over New York’s five boroughs. Together they’re a funny set whose value shifts between the individual and the collective; the moment and the aggregate.
Print out our handy map and hit the road to see the Roof Cuttings for yourself! Try to make it to all five; we promise you’ll meet some friendly gardeners along the way. If you can’t make it, worry not: Flip through the pages of our catalogue for a visual journey through the gardens.
Download a map
Download the installation catalogue
*This project was developed alongside ongoing research for our Garden Testbeds project; however, all structures were designed and built for this installation.
Fabrication with Studio Kina
Photography by Jesse Whiles
With thanks to New York Restoration Project for their support of this project, and especially the participating gardens and gardeners.