Fig. 1 – Daybeds equipped with hand-held atomizers and electrolyte hydration pacs inside a deployable insect screen. Photo credit: Philip Kelly.

In the summer of 2000, mosquito-borne West Nile virus was detected across New York State. Trucks sprayed pesticide in neighborhoods where surveillance found rising numbers of virus-infected mosquitos, and New York City Health Department advised people to stay indoors during spraying and to avoid possible mosquito breeding grounds in areas with standing water (figs. 2, 3).

Fig. 2 – West Nile virus detection in New York State in summer 2000.

Fig. 3 – Pesticide-spraying vehicle in summer 2000.

Fig. 4 – MoMA P.S.1 Long Island City.

Fig. 5 – Four thousand people at MoMA P.S.1 Warm Up DJ Festival in summer 2001.

The following year we won the MoMA P.S.1 Young Architects Competition to design the outdoor venue of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s Warm Up DJ festival. The project brief required the design to function both as a tranquil weekday respite from NYC, and a weekend DJ party space for 3,000 – 5,000 people. The annual event took place in the museum’s Long Island City courtyard in July and August – prime months of the West Nile virus outbreak the year before (figs. 4, 5 and ref. 1).


With the public health event of the previous summer in mind, we asked: Could a private open space be commandeered as a resource during a public health emergency?

Fig. 6 – Desolate NYC subway car during a citywide lockdown imagined in 2001 MoMA P.S. 1 Young Architects Competition entry.

Fig. 7 – Temperature map of MoMA P.S.1 courtyard.

Fig. 8 – Shade, wind, water, and spray added.

Fig. 9 – Twelve daybeds and three pools placed in new temperature gradients.

The starting point for our design was understanding the 52,000 sqf courtyard as a temperature map (fig. 7) that could be manipulated by strategically placed low tech devices to modulate temperature and air flow according to human sensory comfort (figs. 8, 9). For relief from soaring NYC summer temperatures, shade structures, spray misters and a cooling body of water were requirements of the competition.


But sweat, movement, and carbon dioxide released during breathing – all byproducts of a crowded dance party –  are stimuli known to attract mosquitos, as are sound, dark colors and standing water. It was clear that more-than-human nervous systems had to be factored into the design (ref. 2).

Fig. 10 – Elevation diagram of electricity and water feeds.

Fig. 11 – Electricity and water feeds and deployable insect screens.

Fig. 12 – Electricity and water feeds, breeze-generating oscillating fans and inflatable swimming pools.

Fig. 13 – Combined cooling infrastructure and shade structure with wall of oscillating fans, twelve pivoting daybeds. two deployable insect screens, and three inflatable swimming pools.

Fig. 14 – Rotating daybeds track shade (left to right) at noon and in the late afternoon, and self-organize into groupings in the late afternoon and evening.

Fig. 15 – Oscillating fans suspended on tension cables from the courtyard wall generate variable breezes that distribute aerosolized water from a spray-mister circuit further cooling the space.

Fig. 16 – Competition image of shrouded figures attending to prostrate New Yorkers.

Fig. 17 – Pivoting daybeds and pink deployable insect screens overlaid on the courtyard temperature map.

Fig. 18 – Installation view. Photo credit: Gernot Riether.

Fig. 19 – Care apparatus: Pivoting daybed, shade structure, cooling atomizer and deployable insect screen.

Fig. 20 – Installation view.

Fig. 21 – Electrolyte drink in a hands-free hydration pac hangs from an IV hook. Photo credit: Philip Kelly.

Fig. 22 – Installation view. Photo credit: Philip Kelly.

Fig. 23 – Outdoor shower. Photo credit: Philip Kelly.

Fig. 24 – Inflatable swimming pools.

Fig. 25 – In reference to the shrouded attendants in the conceptual competition image (fig. 16), P.S.1 personnel wore Moroccan djellabas during summer 2001 Warm Up events.

Fig. 26 – Weekend Warm Up DJ festival.

Fig. 27 – Weekday in the museum courtyard.

Fig. 28 – Installation view. Photo credit: Gernot Riether.

Fig. 29 – Four flavors of electrolyte in hands-free hydration pacs.


Long Island City, USA




52,000 sqf


Urban respite and DJ Party venue

systems and materials:

Steel, nylon netting, UV shade fabric, agricultural spray hose system, oscillating fans


MoMA P.S.1

project team:

Lindy Roy with Ben Aranda, Barbara Ludscher, Philip Kelly, Tomoyuki Minowa, Gernot Riether, and Monica Tiulescu.

installation team:

Rebecca Arcano, Albert Angel, Andrew Ballard, Katherine Chang, Hayley Eber, Pablo Garcia, Jorge Godoy, Till Houtermans, Fuki Ikeda, Chris Lasch, Mariam Mojdehi, Anna Niemark, Ayako Ohkawa, Wade Perrin, Roberto Steck-Ibarra, Itsuka Sugimoto, Akiko Watanabe, Joshua Webster

coordination and fabrication:

The Oculus Group Ltd. and Cabezon Design Group

structural engineer:

Dewhurst MacFarlane and Partners Inc.

related projects:

Noah’s, Okavango Delta Spa, Hotel QT, The Garden Party, Hybird by Questlove, Swatch Ice



Berlin KW Institute for Contemporary Art

selected press and publications:

New York Magazine (June, 2001)

Blueprint (June, 2001)

The New York Times (July 5, 2001)

News Day (July 6, 2001)

The New York Times (July 27, 2001)

Interview (August, 2001)

The New York Times (August 3, 2001)

The New York Times (August 5, 2001)

LIFE Picture of the Day (Aug 8, 2001)

Vogue (September, 2001)

Architecture + Urbanism (September, 2001)

Frame (November-December 2001)

Interior Design (November, 2001)

Azure (January, 2002)

Oeste 014 (2004)

Future 10 Arquitecturas (August, 2002)


Ref. 1 - West Nile viral vectors

Ref. 2 - Johnston's organ, a cluster of sensory cells at the base of mosquito antennae is sensitive to sound.

Ref. 3 - COVID-19 field hospital in Chicago, 2020. Photo credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP.

Ref. 4 - Coma film poster (1978).