Young Architects Program

Escobedo Solíz Studio

June 1, 2016—August 15, 2016

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce Escobedo Soliz Studio as the winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York. Now in its 17th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. Escobedo Soliz Studio, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the 2016 Warm Up summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.

The winning project, Weaving the Courtyard, opens at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City in early June. The architects describe this year’s construction as “neither an object nor a sculpture standing in the courtyard, but a series of simple, powerful actions that generate new and different atmospheres.” Weaving the Courtyard is a site-specific architectural intervention using the courtyard’s concrete walls to generate both sky and landscape, with embankments in which platforms of soil and water suggest the appearance of a unique topography. A reflective wading pool will stand at the back of the courtyard allowing visitors to cool off in fresh water. Using the modulation of the holes existing in the concrete by the formwork ties when the walls were originally poured, the architects will then weave a textured canopy suspended over the courtyard, or a “cloud” made of contrasting yet colorful ropes. Variations of density will be visible throughout the weaving, inviting visitors to interact and occupy spaces for different periods of time. The woven cloud will provide shade to the visitors below while recasting the courtyard in a bright colored web. As the materials will be largely unaltered by the construction process, they can be re-used at the close of summer.

Founded in 2011, Escobedo Soliz Studio is based in Mexico City and is made up Lazbent Pavel Escobedo and Andrés Soliz. Through explorations in materials and construction techniques, demographic research, and the integration from the community in the design process, Escobedo Soliz Studio designs projects that aim at a deep sense of site-specificity. They describe their theoretical framework as one in which architecture is not only registered as a product but also as a catalyst to improve a given territory where restrictions become opportunities and preexistent conditions of site, climate, and locality should encourage new and practical solutions.

“This year’s finalists of the Young Architects Program explored a range of approaches, materials and scales to effectively question the MoMA PS1 courtyard as an arena for escape. Escobedo Soliz’s ingenious proposal speaks to both the ephemerality of architectural imagery today but also to the nature of spatial transactions more broadly. From the evocative woven canopy that will “surprise” visitors overhead to a reflective wading pool, Weaving the Courtyard sensitively brings together elements of MoMA-PS1’s Warm Up Series with an exuberant collection of zones and atmospheres” said Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.

Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large adds, "This year marks the 40th anniversary of MoMA PS1 and the 16th joint annual competition brought together by the Architecture and Design Department at MoMA and MoMA PS1. The Mexico City-based team will work on a colorful, celebratory intervention that takes it's point of departure to be the existing geometric concrete forms in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 simultaneously creating an urban beach of sand, water and vibrant colors.”

The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were First Office (Andrew Atwood and Anna Neimark), Ultramoderne (Yasmin Vorbis and Aaron Forrest), COBALT OFFICE  (Andrew Colopy and Robert Booth), and Frida Escobedo. An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer, organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, with Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the Young Architects Program since 2007. MoMA PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art are thrilled to announce that this lead sponsorship has been extended for three years, enabling YAP to thrive and excite audiences through summer 2018.



The 2016 Young Architects Program is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Additional funding is provided by Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Jeffrey and Michèle Klein, and Agnes Gund.


MoMA and MoMA PS1 have partnered with the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy, with CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile, and with Istanbul Modern in Istanbul, Turkey (on a biennial cycle) and with MMCA in Seoul, Korea to create international editions of the Young Architects Program. ABOUT ESCOBEDO SOLÍZ STUDIOTheir main works as the recycled timber chapel and community center in Zoh Laguna (second Place Holcim Awards 2014, Switzerland), the Duplex Housing in Mexico City, and the Research Center in Meztitlan combine technical and intuitive approaches to offer a unique and relevant answer to the existing conditions. Since their early collaborations in university, urban recycling, constructive innovation, social dialog and participation strategies are the main themes and issues that define and encourage their actual and future projects.


This year marks the 19th summer that MoMA PS1 has hosted an architectural installation/music series in its outdoor galleries, though it is only the 17th year of the Young Architects Program, which began in 2000. The inaugural project was an architecturally based 1998 installation by the Austrian artist collective Gelatin. In 1999, Philip Johnson’s DJ Pavilion celebrated the historic affiliation of MoMA PS1 and MoMA. The previous winners of the Young Architects Program are SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli (2000), ROY (2001), William E. Massie (2002), Tom Wiscombe / EMERGENT (2003), nARCHITECTS (2004), Xefirotarch (2005), OBRA (2006), Ball-Nogues (2007), WORKac (2008), MOS (2009), Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (2010), Interboro Partners (2011), HWKN (2012), CODA (2013), The Living (2014) and Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (2015).YOUNG ARCHITECTS


A dedicated YAP International website,, features the selected proposals and designs from the winner of YAP in New York, as well as the winners of YAP Istanbul Modern, YAP MAXXI, YAP Chile, and YAP Korea. The website also includes an archive of past MoMA/MoMA PS1 YAP finalists and winning proposals, interviews with the curators, and installation videos.


For the Young Architects Program 2015 selection process, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited outside experts in the field of architecture, including architects, curators, scholars, and magazine editors, to nominate the finalists from a pool of approximately 25 candidates that included both recent graduates and established architects experimenting with new styles or techniques. After reviewing the candidates, five finalists were selected to present proposals to a panel composed of Glenn D. Lowry, Director; Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director; Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs; Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Barry Bergdoll, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, all of The Museum of Modern Art; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art; Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1; Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura; Jeannette Plaut, Director, YAP_Constructo; and Marcelo Sarovic, Director, YAP_Constructo.