hMa and the architecture of sound, water, + movement: DWi-P
hMa’s DWi-P (Digital Water i-Pavilion) is a new community center at Battery Park City across West Street from the World Trade Center Memorial site. hMa hired New York composer M.J. Schumacher to create a digital sound interpretation of water. hMa developed a digital interprentation of the score, and this image is etched on the building’s glass façade.
DWi-P supports the pedestrian life of Lower Manhattan through sound and movement. DWi-P offers the sound of WaTER, supported by stairs, walkways, and ramps through a transparent community building that welcomes Lower Manhattan visitors to Battery Park City. Sound and a green roof permeated by stairs, ramps and walkways, link the Battery Park City Ballfields to North End Avenue through DWi-P’s WaTER façade: a unique digital artwork, activated through cellphone technologies.
DWi-P’s façade makes an edge to the Murray-Warren Passage, a new parkway link between Murray and Warren Streets. Visitors to DWi-P can walk along the Passage, adjacent to the inscribed score, or move up through the building, using exterior stairs and ramps built into the facade. hMa Principal Meyers catalogs DWi-P and hMa’s collaboration with composer M.J. Schumacher in her recently published book, Shape of Sound (May 2014, Artifice Books London).
DWi-P’s internal program continues the theme of water: the pool room and swim program are the principal program areas in the building. DWi-P is operated by Asphalt Green, an organization that specializes in teaching swimming. Graduates of the program have participated with U.S. Olympic Swim Teams. The program includes visits by previous Olympic team members.
Won Buddhist Retreat is another hMa project with Sound and Movement as part of an overall architectural program. The Won Buddhist Retreat emphasizes sound through a program where sound is programmed. The meditation hall is programmed for silence; other areas are designated for conversation.
At Won Buddhist Retreat, programmed movement is determined through walking paths, courtyards, and shaped roofs. Walking paths include predetermined paths through residential and public courtyards, for silent meditation; and nature paths through meadows, from the residential areas to the public domain of meditation hall and visitor’s center.
Won Buddhist Meditation Retreat’s porches suggest where public walking paths begin. Walking paths suggest mathematically deterministic movements within an open, natural environment. Won Buddhist Retreat presents ‘nature framed’ : an open-ended, natural environment, where subtle distinctions differentiate a series of shaped pathways.