op/al & city college of NY students design plastic flowers pavilion op/al & city college of NY students design plastic flowers pavilion
sep 30, 2015

op/al & city college of NY students design plastic flowers pavilion

op/al & city college of NY students design plastic flowers pavilion
all images courtesy of op/ architecture landscape 




‘plastic flowers’ is one of a series of research pavilions undertaken by multi-disciplinary practice op/architecture landscape. the project was completed with additional help by students from the spitzer school of architecture at city college of new york, and revisits the question of mass-production in architecture. placing the ubiquitous brick at the fulcrum, ‘plastic flowers’, postulates a new, more figurative approach, to creating a structural building unit.

op architecture landscape city college of NY plastic flowers pavilion designboom
‘plastic flowers’ pavilion 




the pavilion is based around several curved folding units that require minimal fastening and allow maximum space. 100 ‘petal’ units — each constructed from a single 2’x4′, .0625” thick piece of polyethylene — are utilized to create the whole. geometrically, the petals are contained within an octahedral bounding box which is locked in relation to a geodesic grid wrapped around a sphere. the chosen grid is a triangulation of goldberg’s icoshedral polyhedra of the third order, which features regular pentagons, and two six sided figures: one regular, and one irregular, hexagons.


video courtesy of jonathan scelsa




this model allows for the construction of ‘plastic flowers’ by the multiplication of individual elements. three petals form a flower, and five/six flowers form a rose. a series of custom inner and outer brackets hold everything together, and makes transport between locations easy. ‘plastic flowers’ sets upon specialized half-units and feed designed as scoop seating.

op architecture landscape city college of NY plastic flowers pavilion designboom
front view 




upon selection of the concept, the team was divided into sub-groups to design and develop individual parts of the pavilion and construction process; including connections, foundation attachment, overall geometry, milling logistics, geometric un-folding requirements, material ordering, and scheduling. ‘plastic flowers’ was funded by the school of architecture at city college campus, and resided there for a short duration after its creation. it has since been gifted to the new york city department of parks & recreation, and currently functions as a visitor pavilion at the freshkills park on staten island, new york

installed at city college campus 

back view 

op architecture landscape city college of NY plastic flowers pavilion designboom
the structure was created with the help of students from the spitzer school of architecture 

dew on the pavilion 

construction details 

unit types 


half scale prototype 

early prototype 



project info:


client: new york city department of parks and recreation
project team: jonathan A. scelsa, charles lent, ermir gjoka, danica vildoso, tony fung cheung, daniel escobar, destiny conely, berk eraslan, christina bien-aimé, alvaro almada, mariel villere, cait field



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom

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