Straw Block Pavilion

The City of Dreams 2015 Pavilion

2014. September

Architect : Simplex Architecture


Since Governors Island first opened to the public in 2004, the attention and interest that this new public place has received has increased exponentially. In 2013, over 400,000 people visited the island through its summer season to engage in a variety of arts and cultural programs, as well as to enjoy summertime activities like picnicking and bike riding on the island.

The City of Dreams Pavilion will be a gathering place for people to meet, learn about the arts programson the island, enjoy a performance or lecture, and experience the interaction of art and the historic context of Governors Island.






Drinking straws are used every day in New York, especially during summer time. These straws are disposed easily, oftentimes without being recycled. These straws will be reused to build a structure.

Although one straw is very weak and slender, it can be assembled together as a stable straw block unit to enhance its stiffness. The straw blocks can be assembled together with a paper clip, another often used office items that is disposed easily. These materials will be reused to make the straw block units and these units will be expanded to become a pavilion. The straw block units can be assembled easily and disassembled easily after its use. Since each straw is connected with the paperclip which depends on its friction, connection does not require any adhesives and will not have any environmental effect.


The linear elements provide interesting shade to interior space, yet provide open view towards outside so that when people are in the space, they can interact with the exterior space and people outside the pavilion. Dance performances and music ensembles can take place in the pavilion, and the people outside can hear and see the performances.

Since all the materials will be acquired from recycled materials, there won’t be any cost for the materials. Also, since each straw and paper clip is very small and light, it will be easy to deliver them to the site. The pavilion structure will be easily disassembled after the season is over, and will be sent to the recycling plant since both straw and paper clip is recyclable material.