MirrorMirror – New York City Project

MirrorMirror, StreetFest 2013, Outdoor Structure, New York Design, USA Architecture

MirrorMirror, New York : StreetFest Competition Entry

New Structure for American Competition – design by George Rafialidis and Stephanie Davidson

6 Jun 2013

MirrorMirror Tents

Design: Davidson Rafailidis

Location: New York City, USA

MirrorMirror tents are extremely lightweight, portable street fest / event structures with a double-sided mirrored canopy. The simple, gabled roof, angled at 45 degrees, reflects urban activity on the ground in multiple ways and offers a radically new and intensified view of street life. The exterior of the mirrored roof reflects higher parts of the city skyline and the sky. These patches of sky offer glimpses of lightness and airiness into the dense urban ground plane.

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photos from architects

The roof is made using reinforced aluminum framed panels with stretched, reflective mylar foil. The structural system consists of 2 angles: the mirrored gabled roof and a steel frame tripod. Both structures are hinged to be able to be completely flat packed for transport and storage. The entire assembly of tents installed for the recent IDEAS CITY street fest covered 1000sqft. Packed-up, it barely fills half a U-Haul truck.

The on-site assembly of the tents is extremely fast. First, all steel frames unfold to form tripods. Then, all mirrored panels unhinge and slide onto the steel frames to form a rigid structural system. Standard concrete blocks provide the necessary weight to resist uplift by winds. The only tool needed is a 1/2 inch wrench to secure the roof panel onto the steel frame.

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photos from architects

MirrorMirror allows for radically different configurations in scale, use and spatial experience. It can be used as a single unit but also combined to larger structures to form linear or field like typologies. For the IDEAS CITY application Davidson Rafailidis chose a linear configuration in front of the New Museum building by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA. The house-like section forms a dialogue with the abstract cubic structure of the museum building.

The project was the winning submission of the 2013 Streetfest competition organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the New Museum and Architizer. The competition asked designers to reinvent the streetfest tent.

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images from architects

More than eighty submissions to the competition were received from across the globe. The submission by Davidson Rafailidis was selected by a jury of five individuals in the art and architecture fields. Jury members included:

Cristobal Correa, Associate Principal, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
Eva Franch i Gilabert, Director and Chief Curator, Storefront for Art and Architecture
Michael Manfredi, Principal, Weiss/Manfredi
Mary Miss, artist and author of City as Living Laboratory
Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum

MirrorMirror – Building Information

The structure was fabricated in Buffalo, NY, at the Essex Art Center and assembled onsite.
Practice: Davidson Rafailidis, Buffalo, New York
Project team: Georg Rafailidis (lead), Stephanie Davidson
Project staff: Jia Ma, Aleksandr Marchuk
Fabrication and assembly: Spielman Fabrication LLC, Jon Spielman, Tyler Griffis
Structural engineer design phase: Matthias Michel, Imagine Structure, Frankfurt, Germany
Structural engineer realization: Peter Grace, State University of New York at Buffalo
Fabrication support by students of the University at Buffalo: Zakaria Boucetta, John Costello, James Rice, Matthew Rosen, Fan Yang
Mirror panels: LiteMirror—Shatterproof Glassless Mirrors, Lighter and Brighter than Plate Glass, litemirror.com, Irvington, New York

MirrorMirror information / images received from Davidson Rafailidis

14 May 2013

MirrorMirror Project

Design: George Rafialidis and Stephanie Davidson

Location: New York City, USA

MirrorMirror StreetFest 2013

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images from architects

The project was a competition winning scheme in a competition that was organized by the New Museum in NYC. It is an excellent example of a small project that can be the basis of a design/build competition, helps young architects and has enabled the museum to have a greater presence on the street and host a civic event.

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MirrorMirror images / information received from Brian Carter


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MirrorMirror Building