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Coney Island Development Corporation and Van Alen Institute Announce Winners of Parachute Pavilion Design Competition

International Competition Attracted More than 850 Entries from 46 Countries.

Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) Chairman and President Joshua J. Sirefman and Van Alen Institute Chair Sherida E. Paulsen today announced the winners of the Parachute Pavilion Design Competition, an open international contest co-sponsored by CIDC and Van Alen Institute. The winning design team is Kevin Carmody, Andrew Groarke, Chris Hardie and Lewis Kinneir, of London. The competition, launched in November 2004, attracted more than 850 entries from 46 countries, including Poland, Russia, China, Australia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States, including 54 entries from Brooklyn. The 7,800-square-foot Parachute Pavilion will be located at the base of the landmarked Parachute Jump in Coney Island.

“One of the foremost priorities of the Bloomberg Administration is to revitalize and bring quality development to neighborhoods in all five boroughs of our great City,” said Joshua Sirefman. “With its world-class waterfront location and rich history as an amusement center, Coney Island offers a tremendous base for us to build on. The overwhelming response for this design competition is testimony to the remarkable local and international interest in contributing to its very promising future. I congratulate the winning team for a truly innovative design and thank all the participants for their participation.”

“By promoting it as a year-round recreation, amusement and commercial center, and as a major tourist attraction, we will preserve and celebrate Coney Island’s magical personality – with a 21st Century incarnation of its heyday,” said Borough President Markowitz. “We don’t have to look any further than the winning design for the world-famous Parachute Pavilion for proof of the brighter days ahead – literally – for Coney Island.”

The competition sought innovative ideas to create an all-season center of activity that would draw the public to a new recreational destination. The winning design, a pavilion with a matrix of light bulbs rising 30 feet from the ground, relates directly to the towering Parachute Jump without competing with its scale or Coney Island’s skyline. A souvenir shop opens to double height exhibition space. An elevator and staircase lead to a bar and restaurant overlooking the exhibition space and an overhanging section of the pavilion provides shade in summer and protection in winter.

“The extraordinary results of this call for creative ideas, in terms of quantity and quality, are a direct response to the enduring significance of Coney Island,” said Sherida Paulsen. “The winning scheme’s beauty, both by day and night, through the use of shimmering modern materials and lighting, epitomizes the continuing attraction of the beach and boardwalk to a new audience. Expanding the uses of the Pavilion illustrates the broad approach to the Coney Island destination envisioned by the community, the Borough of Brooklyn and the City.”

The winning design team receives $10,000 and the opportunity to work with Van Alen Institute to develop a program and a publication that demonstrate the role of powerful design in improving the City. A panel of 11 architects and designers, Coney Island residents, and City officials served as judges for the competition.

Second prize of $5,000 was awarded to Ramon Knoester and Eckart Graeve of Brooklyn and the Netherlands, and the $3,000 third prize went to Roman Torres, Patrick Stinger, Mayva Marshall and Adam Montalbano of Philadelphia. There were nine Honorable Mentions representing entries from London, Paris, Copenhagen, Athens and the Netherlands, as well as the United States. In addition to CIDC and Van Alen Institute, other sponsors of the competition were Independence Community Foundation, and KeySpan Corporation.

About CIDC
The Coney Island Development Corporation was established by Mayor Bloomberg with a mandate to create a comprehensive, viable plan to promote a more diversified business community and better employment opportunities. It consists of 13 members appointed by the Mayor, City Council and the Borough President. Each is serving a two-year term.

About Van Alen Institute
Van Alen Institute: Projects in Public Architecture is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving design in the public realm through a program of exhibition, competitions, publications, workshops and forums, and is an advocate for active and accessible waterfronts. Founded in 1894 as the Society Beaux-Arts the Institute was renamed in 1996 after William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building and the Institute’s largest benefactor, and reorganized to focus on the public realm. Based in New York, the Institute’s projects initiate interdisciplinary collaborations between practitioners, policymakers, students, educators and community leaders.

All competition entries can be viewed by clicking onto


  • Carol Hill Albert, Co-owner of Astroland Park
  • Paola Antonelli, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art
  • Jon Benguiat, Director of Planning and Development, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office
  • Charles Denson, Author, Coney Island Lost and Found, Ten Speed Press, 2002
  • Mark Hacker, Director of Development, Rockwell Group
  • Michael A. Manfredi, Weiss/Manfredi Architects
  • Cynthia Reich, Deputy Director, New York Aquarium
  • Sheryl Robertson, Coney Island resident and local community organizer
  • Jennifer Siegal, Principal and Founder of Office of Mobile Design
  • Joshua J. Sirefman, President and Chairman, CIDC, and Director, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Rebuilding
  • Julius Spiegel, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation


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Contact Info

Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (CIDC) (212) 312-3523

Jonathan Cohen-Litant (Van Alen Institute) (212) 924-7000 x 3