The Parachute Pavilion: an Open Design Competition for Coney Island

This competition invites designers worldwide to generate innovative design proposals for a project that contributes to a 21st-century vision for Coney Island. In concert with the Coney Island Development Corporation’s (CIDC) planning initiatives, Val Alen Institute (VAI) is directing a competition for a project ambitious in program and design on a significant site in Coney Island’s amusement district, in the shadow of the famed Parachute Jump an iconic reminder of Coney Island history that is now a designated landmark. The Pavilion design will play a key role in the ongoing revival of Coney Island, with implications for urban recreation in New York City waterfront communities and beyond.

The Parachute Pavilion is planned to be an all-season generator of activity, drawing the public onto the boardwalk, the beach and Surf Avenue, and to a new recreational destination. Throughout history, pavilions have acted as catalysts for animating parks, waterfronts and urban districts by accommodating a myriad of recreational and commercial activities as well as being paradigms of innovative design. This competition will invite designers to stretch the limits of what a pavilion can be, both formally and programmatically, connecting it to both the history and future of Coney Island.

In celebration of a century of supporting designers’ talent and vision, and to underscore the critical importance of design in improving the city’s public realm, The Parachute Pavilion: an Open Design Competition for Coney Island is the occasion for the inaugural New York Prize, which will be awarded to the first-place winner of the competition.

This is an open competition and the sponsors wish to encourage designers in architecture and related fields (individuals, teams and firms) to enter.

The competition brief is available in December 2004, and submissions are due on April 18, 2005. For further details, please visit