BOB, an inflatable cloud above a public bathroom and forum, will officially open on June 1, 2011. The pavilion is the result of a pedagogical experiment involving graduate art and architecture students at Columbia University. Supported by the Bridge Grant for the Art and Architecture, Professors Galia Solomonoff (GSAPP), Nathan Carter (GSAPP), and Liam Gillick (SoA) advised and provoked a joint team from the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP), and the School of the Arts (SoA).
The pavilion will be open from June 1st to July 25th, and features a public restroom installation, a projection screen, twelve student-designed seats and a bar beneath an inflatable canopy. The public restroom, which includes a composting toilet, is enclosed by a screen for the projection of ideas. Reconsidering the idea of graffiti and public anonymity, images and shadows are cast upon a translucent scrim. Privacy is preserved, but information is not restricted by solid walls. The pneumatic roof, conceptually re-pressurized via the toilet‟s exhaust, suggests the bathroom‟s sphere of influence. The inclusion of a composting restroom facility is integral to the concept of the installation, and emerged from the studio mantra that „a society that does not provide public restrooms does not deserve public art.‟1 The bathroom intentionally forces a correlation between public space and a societal responsibility to provide and ensure basic necessities.
Over the summer, BOB will host a number of parties and public film screenings. When the pavilion is dismantled in August, the composting toilet will be donated to the New York Restoration Project, to be installed in the Cooper Street Community Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The inflatable canopy and seats are also available to be donated for public use.
Galia Solomonoff (GSAPP)
Liam Gillick (SoA)
Nathan Carter (GSAPP)
Jesse A Greenberg
Miga Eirini Aspasia
Yve Laris Cohen
This project has been facilitated by:
Mark Taylor, Director of Operations, GSAPP
Will Laufs, Buro Happold
Ashok G. Parasharami, Ashok Parasharami Structural Engineering, LLC