• 08.02.11

Architects Design Pop-Up Chapels For NYC’s Historic Gay Weddings

Yay gay!

It was no Westminster Abbey, but for more than 20 gay couples, the pair of makeshift chapels that rose in Central Park on Saturday was something much better: a monument to how far the gay-rights movement has come.


The structures — one, a hut of honeycomb cardboard stacked in the shape a tulip; the other, a cube filled with rainbow-colored ribbons — resulted from a design competition launched by Architizer and sponsored by the wedding planning site The Knot. The contest asked architects to design temporary chapels for a day’s worth of free, gay nuptials in Manhattan hot on the heels of Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing historic legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.

The two winning designs were built the morning of the event. Together, they presided over 24 weddings. Originally, the freshly hitched couples were supposed to keep ribbons from the cube chapel as souvenirs, but as one of the event’s organizers, Bex Schwartz, tells Co.Design, “People didn’t actually take home the ribbons because they ended up being made of mylar.” Besides, she said, “they were so pretty and delightful that I think no one wanted to disturb the beauty!”

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.