This enormous structure rises over the courtyard walls of New York's MoMA PS1 and passersby couldn't help but gaze. But what is it?
It's called COSMO, a mobile artifact composed of interconnected pipes, tubes, and liquid tanks, created by Spanish architect Andrés Jaque and his firm Office for Political Innovation. Basically it's a giant water purifier capable of filtering and purifying as many as 3,000 gallons of water over a four-day cycle. When each cycle is complete, the contraption's plastic mesh will glow, providing a backdrop for PS1's summer parties.
The structure, which took home the grand prize for this year's Young Architects Program Competition, can remove suspended particles and nitrates, balance the pH, and increase the level of dissolved oxygen.
"More than 2 billion gallons of water circulate every day beneath New York City," said the firm. "Cosmo is a movable artefact, made out of customised irrigation components, to make visible and enjoyable the so-far hidden urbanism of pipes we live by."
Aside from being a portable water-filtration plant, COSMO also serves as a seating, shading and cooling structure. The outdoor art installation will remain on view at MoMA PS1 until September 6, 2015.