Turnout NYC Modular Plaza Infrastructure


Design Trust for Public Space

Public Space Design Advisor

J.Ember Design


Alfalfa Studio, LSTN


New York, NY




Andre Whitehead (NeON Photography), SITU

Through a collaborative design process supported by our extensive experience with outdoor applications, our team engineered and fabricated a series of modular multipurpose event amenities for Turnout NYC.

The Turnout NYC project, which was initiated and led by SITU Studio, our architectural division, in collaboration with the Design Trust for Public Space, aims to highlight local talent and foster engaging and accessible community events by transforming underutilized spaces into vibrant cultural venues. The primary elements consist of rolling benches, stage platforms, an access ramp, and a signage pylon, all of which are mobile and reconfigurable to serve different functions.

These kit of parts are intended to travel throughout the five boroughs to outdoor plazas and parks for public event programming, serving diverse communities of organizers and audiences. To maximize their versatility, each unit has lockable storage space integrated within it to accommodate folding chairs, tables, umbrellas and other plaza event furnishings.

Working closely with SITU Studio, our project management team optimized design performance to address the various needs of the project. Together, we decided to use locally sourced thermally modified oak as a sustainable, durable, and warm material for the cladding of the units. The wood slats are fastened to painted aluminum substructures which form the secure, weatherproof, and heavy duty mobile core of each typology.

The aluminum substructures were efficiently designed to be waterjet cut, notched together, and welded to meet an aggressive fabrication schedule. We accommodated a custom perforation pattern that provided for ventilation and water drainage, while also serving as fastening points to connect modular sections together. Custom bumpers, brackets and other accessories can also be fastened into the perforation holes to allow for a variety of configurations while in use during public events.

A variety of intricate details were worked out by our fabrication team including integrated leveling jacks to rapidly level the modules, recessed hinges for operable panels, security locks, bumpers, collapsible backdrop members, and other innovative features that allowed for ease of use. We meticulously staged and dry fit the various components in our 10,000 sqft shop to ensure the system’s flexibility, durability, user accessibility, and safety.

Once on site, these event furnishings provide for the design flexibility desired by the various community partners while being durable enough to withstand New York City streets. By integrating multiple divisions of SITU during the design and fabrication phases, we were able to leverage the collaborative potential of our company’s interdisciplinary architectural practice to achieve the highest quality product for community impact.