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The Parachute Pavilion:
An Open Design Competition for Coney Island


Throughout history, pavilions have animated parks, waterfronts, and urban districts with recreational and commercial activity and innovative design. Our competition challenged designers to re-imagine Coney Island’s famed Parachute Jump, one of the most iconic and best-loved pavilions in New York City, by testing the formal and programmatic limits of what a pavilion can be, and connecting it to both the history and the future of Coney Island.

The project garnered 864 designers from 46 countries with fresh proposals for an all-season Parachute Jump. The competition catalyzed debates over the ongoing revival of Coney Island, and introduced futuristic proposals with implications for urban recreation in New York City waterfront communities and beyond. The winning pavilion was designed by London-based architects Kevin Carmody, Andrew Groarke, Chris Hardie, and Lewis Kinneir, who received Van Alen Institute’s first New York Prize for research and development of the text, “The Pavilion: Symbol of Recreation and Regeneration.” Each of the competition submissions was made accessible to the public through a Summer 2005 exhibition at Van Alen, as well in the book, Coney Island: The Parachute Pavilion Competition published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2007.

Carol Hill Albert, Co-Owner of Astroland Park, Coney Island

Paola Antonelli, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art

Jon Benguiat, Director of Planning & Development, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office

Charles Denson, Author, Coney Island, Lost and Found (Ten Speed Press, 2002)

Mark Hacker, Director of Development, Rockwell Group

Michael A. Manfredi, Weiss/Manfredi Architects

Cynthia Reich, Deputy Director, New York Aquarium

Sheryl Robertson, Coney Island resident and local community organizer

Jennifer Siegal, Principal and Founder, Office of Mobile Design

Joshua Sirefman, President and Chairperson, CIDC and Director, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Rebuilding

Julius Spiegel, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

First Prize ($20,000)

Kevin Carmody, Andrew Groarke, Chris Hardie and Lewis Kinneir (London, UK)

Second Prize ($5,000)

Ramon Knoester and Eckart Graeve (Brooklyn, NY + Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Under the Boardwalk

Roman Torres, Patrick Stinger, Mayva Marshall and Adam Montalbano (Philadelphia, PA)


Honorable Mention

Lift Off Pavilion

Jody Beilun and Pablo Leppe (London, UK)

Honorable Mention

See Sea Project

David Campos and Ursula Schneider (New York, NY)

Honorable Mention

The Parachute Pavilion: A Light Generator 

Vera Fernandez-Villegas and Alfredo Andia (Miami, Florida)

Honorable Mention

Juliet Hernandez and Jhaelen Eli (Cambridge, MA)

Honorable Mention

Coney Island Stands

Rachel Johnston, Kevin Fennell, Meaghan Pierce-Delaney and AJ Pires (Philadelphia, PA)


Honorable Mention

The Ever Changing Sky

Paul-Emmanuel Loiret, Serge Joly (Paris, France)

Honorable Mention

Pieros Pieris, Stella Pieri and George Merianos (Athens, Greece)

Honorable Mention

Deus Ex Machina

MONOLAB Architects: Jan Willem van Kuilenburg (Principal), Silvia Fernandes, Avine Hassouri and Michael Klauser (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Honorable Mention

Tim Vedel-Hansen and Henrik Jagd Nissen (Copenhagen, Denmark)