Last August, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama wrapped 345 Meatpacking's scaffolding with a bright yellow creation filled with her signature polka dots. (Archicritic James Gardner actually liked the temporary cover-up more than the actual building.) Shortly after, the conversion at 404 Park Avenue South (called Huys, pronounced "house") draped its own under-construction facade in a giant white cloth with a blue drawing, in the style of some traditional Dutch pottery, depicting what the building's exterior will look like when it's all finished.
So swaddling buildings is a thing now, right? Now there's a new wrapped structure in our future: 20 Washington Square?an NYU building, the site of 1911's devastating Triangle Fire, and the future location of an exterior-spanning memorial commemorating that incident. What will it look like? Well, that'll be decided by the jury of a design competition.
Last week the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition launched the contest to create a "second skin" for the south and east facades of the 10-story building. "We need something that can't be ignored," said the coalition's executive director in a statement. "That compels passers-by to take notice, stop, and reflect." The only requirement is that the designs must include the names of the fire's victims; submissions will be accepted until April 12 with a registration deadline of April 5.
The March 20 fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory killed 146 people, mostly women. On Wednesday, the coalition and others will formally observe the 102nd anniversary of the tragedy in front of the building at 1pm, and the public is welcome to join in.
· NYU Building to Be Wrapped in Art Memorializing Triangle Fire [DNAinfo]
· Official site: Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition [rememberthetrianglefire.org]
?Photo of 20 Washington Place by Samantha Modell