Alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ’03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ’94) of Ball-Nogues Studio in Los Angeles were recently announced as winners of the 2nd edition of the Pavillon Spéciale international competition organized by the École Spéciale d’Architecture. An annual spring architectural series, the competition gives young emerging architects the opportunity to build together with a team of ESA students a temporary project in the heart of Paris.
Directed by Odile Decq and curated by Matteo Cainer, the program provides three months for the development and construction of a unique pavilion to be sited on the school’s inner courtyard, serving as a contemporary platform for architects, students and the city itself. A series of public talks, events and performances are scheduled to take place in and around the pavilion during a 5-month period following the pavilion’s unveiling.
Ball-Nogues’ proposal was selected from 8 stellar submissions by design practices around the world, including DUS Architects, Amsterdam; Fantastic Norway, Oslo; MOS, New York; OSMD, Lisbon; Polaris Architects, Luxembourg; Softlab, New York; and Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo. Their entry was described by the competition jury as very interesting architecturally, economically feasible and at the same time ecologically strong. A very manual project expected to greatly involve students participating in the build process, Ball-Nogues’ pavilion was conceived as a protected gathering space, “with a Jacques Tati feel.”
Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in the territory between architecture, art, and industrial design. Essential to each project is the "design" of the production process itself. The Studio has exhibited at major institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; PS1; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Venice Biennale; the Hong Kong | Shenzhen Biennale; and the Beijing Biennale. They have received numerous honors including three American Institute of Architects Design Awards, United States Artists Target Fellowships and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2007, the Studio was the winner of the Museum of Modern Arts PS1 Young Architects Program Competition. Recently, their work became part of the permanent collection of MoMA. In 2011, they were one of the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices.
The partners have taught in the graduate architecture programs at SCI-Arc, UCLA, and USC in Los Angeles. Their work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Architectural Record, Artforum, Icon, Log, Architectural Digest, and Sculpture.