Got Grass? Milk Crates Green Up Living Pavilion


Living Pavilion was installed on Governors Island in New York City; its functional purpose was acting as a temporary central gathering and assembly point for arts activities. So impressive was this installation that it was awarded the 2010 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition sponsored by Figment, The Emerging New York Architects Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (ENYA), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).


Living Pavilion was, from beginning to end, a sustainable and recyclable endeavor. The use of used milk crates as structural components imbued the installation with built-in “recyclability”, to coin a term. With the end of the season at hand, Living Pavilion was quickly and easily disassembled into a conglomeration of individual planted milk crates, which were then distributed in and around the New York City area where they were used as required: in private homes, public places, and community gardens.


Living Pavilion’s designers had a twofold vision in mind when planning the structure. Primarily, they desired to crystallize the urban milieu of the future where, hopefully at least, nature was invited back to play a vital role in cityscapes. Serendipitously, they discovered the addition of green, living plants to mass-produced structural components took the hard edge off of those rigid industrial surfaces and frameworks.