New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition

How do you reinvent an architectural icon for the 21st century?

  • Meet the Winners of the New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition!

    The New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition took place in the summer of 2016 and received over 250 submissions from across the country and around the world! Scroll down to see which entries took the top prizes.

The Competition

A Philip Johnson-designed masterpiece, the New York State Pavilion was the shining star of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, charming millions of visitors who flocked to Queens for the two-year celebration.

Fast forward to today. After decades of disuse and deterioration, this one-of-a-kind structure is poised for a dramatic comeback…but as what?

Presented by the National Trust and People for the Pavilion, and sponsored by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, the New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition was an “anything goes” approach to radically re-imagine one of New York City’s most iconic buildings and a defining landmark of Queens.

The first, second, and third place winners were chosen by our panel of judges with experience in design, architecture, community engagement, planning, public policy, and public space management. The Queens winner was chosen by the competition team, and the fan favorite was chosen by popular vote on this website.

Please join us at the Queens Museum August 5th through the 28th for a special exhibition spotlighting the competition and the many creative submissions it received from across the country and around the world.

Questions? Check out the full rules and requirements for the competition. They are also available in Spanish (Reglas y Requisitos) and Chinese (参赛规则).


Competition Team

This ideas competition is a partnership between the National Trust and People for the Pavilion, a volunteer-run nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness of the historic value of the New York State Pavilion and its potential to serve as a vibrant public space.

New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition
NYSP - First Place

First Place

Hanging Meadows
Aidan Doyle and Sarah Wan, Seattle, WA

A repurposed Pavilion would serve as the base to a suspended natural environment with its design nodding towards the future. “Hanging Meadows” would feature plants from the Northeastern U.S. and provide visitors with a beautiful view of the city while standing amidst nature. A planetarium and classroom space would be found below the garden. View the full entry.

NYSP - Second Place

Second Place

Civic Hub
Javier Salinas, New York, NY

Focusing on the community’s priorities and input, this multi-purpose space would work in conjunction with public programming. Shuttles from local community and senior centers would be sure to include everyone on the various local events and festivals that would be hosted in the open event space. View the full entry.

NYSP - Third Place

Third Place

Pavilion for the Community
Rishi Kejrewal and Shaurya Sharma, Bhopal, India

This plan would transform the Pavilion into a cultural marketplace working towards harmony through human interaction and sustainability. Features such as a communal children’s play area and solar panels pave the way towards a brighter future for the coming generations. View the full entry.

NYSP - Queens Winner

Queens Winner

Pavilion Park
Cesar Juarez and Alida Rose Delaney, Queens, NY

This category was created to recognize the inspiring ideas we received specifically from Queens residents. "Pavilion Park” would seek to honor the historical significance of the space and convert the vacant Pavilion into a public park. With a focus on the integrity of the original structure, the flexible communal space would be centered around a stage with built-in stadium seating. View the full entry.

New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition Fan Favorite

photo by: New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition Fan Favorite

Fan Favorite Winner

Tent of the Future
Houiji Ramzi, Saint Etienne, France

This category was chosen by popular vote on this website. "Tent of the Future" is a combination between sustainable development and new technologies. The overall vision is to install solar panels on the Pavilion to capture energy that will diversify the activities inside the structure. The result is an open space accessible to all public. View the full entry.

Programming and Events

This competition was not just for professionals! We partnered with two cutting-edge, Queens-based placemaking organizations—RPGA Studio and Hibridos Collective—to help participants define, represent, and submit their bold ideas for the Pavilion. Beginning in March and running through the end of June, we hosted eight pop up events in neighborhoods throughout Queens where residents and curious passersby could work one-on-one with artists and architects to learn about the Pavilion and to think big about its future use.

Explore the Submissions

The New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition received over 250 submissions from across the country and around the world! You can explore them all below, and please join us at the Queens Museum August 5th through the 28th for a special exhibition spotlighting the competition and the outpouring of creativity it inspired.