Humble materials can lead to extraordinary results. Salvage Swings is proof positive. The Roosevelt Island installation is a series of 12 child-size modules, each outfitted with a swing and crafted from finger joint–connected panels repurposed from shipping palettes. It was the aha moment of Jessica Colangelo and Charles Sharpless, married principals of Somewhere Studio and faculty members at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. While ideating their proposal for the annual City of Dreams Pavilion competition, which centers on sustainability, they noticed the palettes on campus near where a new residence hall was being built. “It was an opportunity to address construction-waste management,” Colangelo explains. “Our form integrates play—and community.” After windows were cut out of the panels, they, along with the cut-out leftovers that would form swing seats, were flat-packed and trucked to New York. Once assembled, they were arranged in a triangle, creating a sort of amphitheater for summer concerts and the like.
Watch a video of the installation: