One of our earliest projects, Dunescape embodies an approach to design, public experience, and the use of new technologies that still defines and inspires the work of our studio.

In 2000, the Museum of Modern Art began its Young Architects Program, a competition to imagine an installation in the forecourt of its PS1 art center in Queens. As the winner that inaugural year, SHoP created an immersive environment that invited visitors to gather, linger, and inhabit the institution in new ways, as well as serving as the centerpiece for Warm Up, an infamous series of summertime raves. Responding to the modest budget and the need for very rapid construction by an unskilled labor force (our friends), we used the digital tools of the day to not only imagine a novel form but also to optimize it into something that could be very efficiently built.

Instead of producing traditional "blueprints" that represent a design without describing its methods of construction, for Dunescape we devised a novel system that output digital information as one-to-one template drawings that could be used directly as tools in the assembly.

Dunescape inspired what has become SHoP’s signature approach to construction technology: working to eliminate the unnecessary barriers between imagination and realization that have always complicated the process of creating great architecture. Arranged and assembled thoughtfully with our digital tools, simple, authentic materials can be used to achieve surprisingly sophisticated spaces and effects.