In Jersey City, a one of a kind, interactive sculpture crowns the 8th amenity deck of the VYV South Tower. It’s part of the double luxury residences by Brookfield Properties and sits on the Hudson Exchange West redevelopment site. This Jersey City sculpture is none other than “Pavilion,” and is meant not only to be looked at but touched and traveled through. It’s as close to living art as you can get. The installation commemorates the grand opening of the South Tower, connecting the two 35-story luxury North and South Towers; complete with those stunning Manhattan and Jersey City views.
Pelzmann and Pears
Maximilian Pelzmann was born in Dublin, Ireland, and received his education at The New School and Pratt Institue. While attending Pratt, he studied under Japanese woodworking master, Toshio Odate. Today, Pelzmann works out of the visual arts center, Mana Contemporary, in Jersey City.
In 2017, Maximillian Pelzmann was introduced to Brookfield Properties through Green Villain, a renowned art broker in New York and New Jersey. Brookfield was on the hunt for an art installation for their newly developed amenity deck on the North Tower, and together with Pelzmann, they settled on“Totem.” Brookfield quickly commissioned Pelzmann for a second project, pairing him with John Pears (RIBA) the lead designer of the project (formerly of Perkins Eastman).
Though they were partners, John Pears has described Pelzmann as the visionary. “Once Pelzmann came on board, I stepped back to let him express his vision. Since his [Pelzmann’s] first model, he drew me into the process and we started collaborating.”
Empowering the Observer
However, no project comes without challenges. The set destination for the piece was the 8th floor, virtually unheard of for an art installation of such magnitude. “Pavilion” needed to be light but strong in order to withstand the hyper wind speeds that often accompany waterfront properties. Having passed that test, the sculpture was manufactured and installed in the summer of 2020, an especially interesting year to showcase interactive, tangible art, but maybe when it’s needed most.
“I am making a conscientious choice to welcome viewers to follow their instinctive impulse to explore the sculpture and discover their own way to engage with the artwork,” Pelzmann said when discussing the project. “It’s about creating an experimental encounter that empowers the observer by connecting them to their living environment in a dynamic and creative way.”
Art With a View
The installation is set on a deck that also provides some glamorous amenities: outdoor dining spaces, recreational lawns, a swimming pool, and an outdoor screen for gaming and movies. The design of the 8th amenity deck is meant to transform depending on the viewer’s perspective. As one moves about, the geometrical space morphs from every angle.
The newly opened South Tower has 432 public rental units, with private workstations to support tenants in reestablishing that newly quashed line between the office and home. Other features include a cafe, fitness centers, game room, and a sports bar. The VYV towers leave very little for their experiencers to desire. Still, aren’t we all missing a sense of community these days? Pelzmann’s installation seems to speak to that too.
The Jersey City sculpture has an underlying symbolism that insists on the importance of unity. If art is meant to move us, then “Pavilion” succeeds in doing so. Both literally and figuratively. Go and see for yourself!