Architecture Sets the Stage for Historic Moment in NYC History

As gay marriage took center stage in local news last weekend, it was two pop-up chapels that set the tone at Columbus Circle, where 24 same-sex couples said their vows. Z-A Studio designed a tulip-shaped chapel of stacked recycled honeycomb cardboard, while ICRAVE created a curtain of rainbow-colored ribbons hanging from an armature to create a parabolic enclosure. These were winning designs of a competition hosted by Architizer and TheKnot.com, and it was inspiring to see architecture as a backdrop to such a big moment in NYC history.

Both chapels were light and whimsical, adding to the feeling of happiness and love shared by each couple. ICRAVE’s colorful streamers seemed to channel an array of light, flamboyantly drawing focus on each pair from afar, and making for stunning photographs (Architizer has posted them here. Z-A Studio’s structure was more subdued, sheltering and embracing each couple, rather than projecting outward.

Although temporary, the sense of the power of these small interventions was palpable, shining light not only on each pair, but on design and how it can positively impact the environment and public space.