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Weathers Permitting

William O'Brien, Jr.


Designer: William O'Brien, Jr.

William O'Brien, Jr., proposed Weathers Permitting, a boardwalk incorporating a continuous and varied landscape of folding and unfolding surfaces. It would be constructed mainly of fresh-cut white ash, which is grown and harvested sustainably in the eastern and central United States, minimizing the project’s environmental impact. The wood curves as it dried after being milled, and its natural tendency to bend would be carefully calculated and integrated into the construction of the complex fold of the final structure. The central horizontal platform would support visitors and Warm Up partiers, with the vertical elements providing shade. Sections of the boardwalk would fold horizontally, beneath the platform, and form basin-like elements that would collect rainwater flowing down the shovel-like vertical blades above. The horizontal and diagonal planes would also serve as seating. Reminiscent of boat landing docks and seaside boardwalks, Weathers Permitting would introduce a vacation atmosphere into MoMA PS1’s urban courtyard.