This engaging design was created by Louisiana State’s Guy A. Avellone for a suckerPUNCH competition to design a new home for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in New York City. Avellone’s design is heavily centered around creating a connection with Delancey Street below and doing so with an aggressive aesthetic quality aimed at increasing the numbers of visitors. The design won an honorable mention from suckerPUNCH.

Avellone drew heavily influence from action comics, most visibly in the exploding exterior façade inspired by a comic illustration technique for expressing motion. The horizontal textured lines of the exterior walls are meant to emphasize that burst of energy towards the street. The 21 degree angle of the lean was purposely chosen as well, drawn from the environment around the site: it is the street angle of the Lower East Side, the desirable stadium seating angle, and complements the angle of Tschumi’s Blue Condos across the street.

Like in any good comic book, the MoCCA is a clash of opposing forces. Where the MoCCA smashes towards the street, the yellow circulation core counters its energy, appearing to slice into the museum from the street. The clash further creates a sense of connection between the museum and the street below. From the architect: “This dynamic is a comic expression of the way almost every building is experienced: penetrating the building mass from the street via a circulation system”.

Avellone design was noted by the jury for successfully translating what could be called the “classic” comic book aesthetics into the architectural form, a direction some other teams decided not to move in. The majority of the top designs however did draw from comic book design techniques, but mostly from other genres or elements. The winning design by Volkan Alkanoglu resembles the darker side of comics, like contemporary graphic novels. One creative approach by Erick Kristanto was to resemble the bubble quotes in comics and cartoons. He too won an honorable mention for his lighthearted design.

Leave a Reply