The parachute pavilion

location Coney Island, NYC, USA
Started 2005
Finished 2005

Van Alen Institute and Coney Island Development Corporation

Type public; art gallery; restoration
Dimension 7800 sq. ft. (~725 sq. m.)
Phase competition

Rossana Capurso and Andrea Ricci

Se(a)e- through: The parachute pavilion serves as a place to escape and recover one’s equilibrium. It reinforces the relationship with the sea by reanimating the waterfront. As a generator of activity it will revitalize the character of place by seducing visitors to interact with a new playful Spectacle. Seen from outside the form invites to experience a visual dialogue through a glass telescope - the soul of the pavillion. This glass telescope is embraced by a series of structural metal fascias connected to a glazed facade.

The main entrance is located on the east side of the pavilion at the parking/street level. Upon entering the main lobby the glass telescope flows through ceiling. The exhibition space is conceived to be transformable with pivoting wood panels hinged to the structural columns. Located on the west side is a shopping gallery and offices. Flexible walls permit the plan to evolve according to the desired function of the shops.

There is access via stairs and elevator to the mezzanine level where the boardwalk enters into the pavilion to establish continuity. The second floor which is accessible from the mezzanine and a second entrance at the west walkboard along the site consists of a restaurant, panoramic terrace, and lounge bar. At this level the glass telescope continues its inside –ourside flows and rises from below like a strong wave.

Walking through the pavillion evokes both a visual and tactile experience motivating one to find a way to the sea: see the sea.