The Almost Building: State of Indeterminacy


Excerpt from Buildings and Almost Buildings by Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (nARCHITECTS), published by Actar Publishers.

Is architecture necessarily complete? Or is it a state of incompletion-a state of indeterminacy that incites us to engage with it?

These questions were on our minds as we stood inside Canopy, invisible to the crowd around us. Thousands of users-or mostly mis­users, as we began calling them-had appropriated our intervention in MoMA PS1’s courtyard as their own, turning us into passive spectators. We were no longer authors, but users and interlopers, anonymous witnesses moving through the scenes around us like ghosts. The music was dizzying; revelers were settling in to the thump of the DJ’s beats; the Warm Up session was at its best. Lacking hard boundaries or overt function, Canopy’s green bamboo arcs offered a flexible framework for microclimates and social exchanges. From our vantage point, it seemed as if the various human activities around us had been unleashed by the project’s apparent limitations.

nARCHITECTS, CANOPY, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY, 2004. Photograph by Frank Oudeman.
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