Who needs miles of metal mesh and gobs of glass to make a statement? Thom Mayne, that's who, and the architect's new Cooper Union building is fresh off a Top 5 finish on our Best Buildings of the Decade list. But not everything inside 41 Cooper Square is Maynestreamed. Performa 09, a non-profit arts group, is currently camped out in the street level retail space. For this temporary fun house, the Performa-ers brought in a truckload of two-by-fours and plywood and put together an urban piazza, mashing together an amphitheater, bookstore, screening room and more. The Bowery doors are open to all. Inside, the concrete core of Mayne's psychedelic pleasure palace is on full view, with great vistas from atop the steep stairs that push right up against the ceiling. The fun and viewing opportunities continue through this weekend.
· Performa [performa-arts.org]
· Cooper Union coverage [Curbed]