Governor's Cup: CDR Studio's City of Dreams Pavilion on Governor's Island photographed by Ashley Simone


CDR finals_20140614_0290 The “Governors Cup” pavilion, a serpentine structure made of 30,000 reclaimed plastic cups, is supported by a cluster of trees on the Governor's Island Parade Ground. It transforms the prosaic, overlooked and discarded into a site specific, ephemeral gathering space. The pavilion will host more than 200,000 visitors during the four month summer festival. This outdoor room and gateway will create an airborne topography of refracted light and shadow. Ever present harbor winds will animate the public space with shimmering movement and sound.

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The pavilion's translucent and reflective materials magically catch light. It's crochet-inspired tape structure continuously redirects lines of sight. The form comes from the interplay of a densely stitched structural spine and a lacy infill. Each cup is perforated to keep the structure light-weight. These holes make the ever-changing color of the sky visible from below.

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Aside from being beautiful, CDR’s Governors Cup demonstrates the transformative potential of what we normally consider waste. Light-weight, resilient, and inexpensive, the pavilion design prototypes a shade structure with potential for future application.

The City of Dreams Competition is organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)committee for Emerging New York Architects (ENYA), the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) and FIGMENT NYC  a non-profit arts organization. The brief required that the pavilion employ recycled or recyclable materials, be constructed off site, and transported by water taxi to the island. Of the 200 entries, CDR Studio’s submission was chosen as the winner.

 "The jury appreciates how the pavilion is artistically conceived. For the overall canopy, the jury can foresee interesting patterns developing in the grass below, both from the sunlight and from drip patterns. Staying in line with the goal to have a net zero impact on the environment, the jury complimented the fact that [your team] is planning to move the installation to [another space] after the summer season ends."




CDR Studio Architects, PC

Founded in 1995, CDR Studio is a full-service architectural firm with a diverse and creative staff committed to sustainable design. Our work covers a range spanning public, institutional, educational, commercial and residential projects. The word “Studio” is a central part of our name. We create teams and collaborations that give form to the concerns of each project. A signature or style is not what we are about. We are interested in the evolution of a project. We build upon and nurture the process.We do not believe in one-liner concepts or the reductive binary of form and function in our work. The essential aspect of sustainability is the creation of intelligent, long-lasting buildings that offer dignity and delight in an increasingly anxious world.


Ashley Simone is a New York City based artist and architect. She takes a multidisciplinary approach to the fields, operating as a designer, photographer, writer and educator.  She holds a Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The College of William and Mary.

Ashley has exhibited photography in New York and London. Most recently, she was featured in “Bar for the Future”, a group exhibition juxtaposing utopian and dystopian themes of modern architecture, curated by Julia Muggenburg of Belmacz Gallery, London. Selected New York exhibitions include “The City we Imagined, The City we Made”, curated by Urban Omnibus and the Architectural League, “Vestiges of Beauty” at Lyon Weir Gallery, and “The Skin of the Eyes”, a two person show with William Arbizu, sponsored by Columbia University.

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