The first Harvest Dome, which was destroyed after getting marooned on Rikers Island
The Harvest Dome, a floating installation of 500 discarded storm-snapped umbrellas and 128 two-liter soda bottles, will be launching at Inwood Hill Park Inlet this Wednesday, July 31st. The dome is being constructed by SLO Architecture at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. [Update: Photos from the actual launch].
In wondrous architecture-speak, SLO Architecture says the project “furthers our desire to reveal New York City’s primeval ecologies, and transfigures the workings of the ecosystem at Manhattan’s northern tip, the site of the island’s last remaining Saltmarsh…During the course of the month, the buoyant sphere rises and falls with the tide–alternating between floating and sitting on the mud-flat which is uncovered twice daily. The Dome engages the circadian action of the water and emerge from the mud-flat as curiously outscaled harvesting of urban floatsam.”
In short, Harvest Dome brings to light our urban discards, put them together into an incongruous, over-sized object. The dome is placed fittingly in an inlet that contains a natural saltwater cordgrass that transforms floatsam into nutrient-rich detritus, further highlighting the inorganic nature of our waste.
The location of Harvest Dome is key to the project. The inlet at Inwood Hill Park is a remnant of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, which was dredged in 1895 to create the Harlem River Ship Canal. This is the second iteration of Harvest Dome–the first got accidentally marooned on Rikers Island due to a storm and was subsequently destroyed by the NYC Department of Correction.
Harvest Dome is in fact an evolution of ideas from SLO Architecture’s principals, Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, combining community engagement with re-use, whether of discarded materials or physical buildings with projects such as Bronx River Crossing and the Bronx River Right of Way.