Cedar Hill Loop is a summer pavilion located at the heart of Central Park, New York City. As the most popular open public space in New York, Central Park was designed as a neutral land for different people to encounter and for various activities to overlap, which is only made possible by its openness and natural scenery. We believe a summer pavilion built in the heart of Central Park should respect what the park already is and try to be an enhancement of its original open, natural condition.
Third Award | RTFA 2017 Awards
Category: Cultural (Concept)
Team Members: Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu
Country: United States
With that in mind, we created the Cedar Hill Loop, an underground steel and timber ring structure, which follows the existing terrain of the Cedar Hill (an east-facing slope at middle-east Central Park used mostly for reading and sunbathing). The loop, powered by four industry standard mast lifts and a circular rail underneath, is able to elevate and rotate itself to reveal spaces that are suitable for a wide variety of activities in different scales. Having nearly 30 feet of height difference, the sloped terrain of Cedar Hill is a perfect spot for the Loop to integrate itself in.
The goal is to make the structure as open and minimal as possible, in a way that it defines no boundaries, enclosure or any fixed ways to use the space, thus encourages the terrain to play a more significant role in the forming of flexible spaces compares to traditional architecture.
Other than opening up entirely, when not designated to any specific events, the loop can either be entirely hidden with only subtle indication of the periphery, or it can be slightly raised and become a large circular bench for people to gather together with indirect light leaking from inside that lights up the lawn during nighttime. The hill also helps with natural flood prevention in certain extreme weather condition.
Like Central Park, The Cedar Hill Loop is welcome to be used openly and unexpectedly. It provides new spaces and possibilities that the park currently lacks, at the same time keeps and enriches familiar experiences we love about Central Park.