Hayley Eber (b. Johannesburg, South Africa) is an architect, designer and educator. She received a B.AS from The University of Cape Town in 1997, a B.Arch from the Cooper Union in 2000, and an M.Arch from Princeton University in 2002. She is co-founder of EFGH, an architectural partnership founded in 2007 in New York. Her professional practice engages interdisciplinary research with a focus on responsive design concepts and building techniques that challenge conventional notions of site, material and context. EFGH claimed a prize for their submission to Envisioning Gateway: A Public Design Competition for Gateway National Park and were recently represented at the Hong Kong Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture. Their projects have been published in numerous journals, such as Praxis10: Urban Matters, Frame Magazine and Domus. EFGH recently participated in Open House, a one-day event and symposium led by Droog in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Prior to the inception of her firm, she worked with DS+R, where her experience ranged from temporary installation and media work to large scale urban projects, performance and architectural competitions. Her involvement includes project architect for The Highline Competition, Lincoln Center Information Landscape and recent art projects including collaborations with The Wooster Group and film director Mira Nair. Before joining DS+R, she worked at Eisenman Architects in NY on The Arizona Cardinals Stadium and at Wiel Arets Architects in Maastricht on The University Library in Utrecht.
View Hayley Eber's CV here.
Projects & Links
Open House: Serving New York
OPEN HOUSE: SERVING NEW YORK
Open House is a project by Droog in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Open house was presented in a one-day event on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011. The event was kicked-off with a symposium at Studio-X New and followed by a bus trip to Levittown, where visitors could view and participate in nine house installations in the neighborhood, designed and executed by architects, designers and artists in collaboration with the homeowners. Our installation showcased concepts for future open houses, with proposals for new housing configurations and regulatory modifications.
Future Open Houses, by EFGH: Existing rules of the suburbs are becoming outdated as home-made services and collaborative consumption are becoming increasingly widespread. Future Open Houses imagines how the new residential service economy might affect the protocols of an archetypal suburb. As a case study, six blocks of Levittown visualize the potential outcome of a bottom-up suburban service economy. New organization, zoning codes and public-private relationships are proposed. A catalogue of housing typologies and spatial negotiations is presented for a future suburbia in which increased density, opportunistic land use and new combinations of public and private programming co-exist.
The design of the 600 sq ft interior and storefront for the new flagship restaurant Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage System on Union Square, is based on the aesthetics of the butchery, which becomes the generative approach to the project. A 14’x4’ communal butcher-block table is the centerpiece for the space, and incorporates retractable cantilevered seating to avoid any freestanding furniture. A raised built-in banquet on the west wall overlooks the restaurant while providing the base for the Sausage Wall-of Fame. A mural describing the Dogmatic story is baked onto the ceramic tiles using a transfer toner technique. The 11’ tall vertical glass menu board screens a portion of the open kitchen, while hanging off a steel armature from the restaurant hood. Meat hooks support the lighting cylinders on tracks. The custom steel designed storefront doors pivot to allow for maximum openness and connection to the outside.
A 15’ x 15’ temporary performance pavilion designed under the restrictions of an extremely small budget and a wildly short timeline, Hedgehog hosted a lineup of diverse street performers from around the country, participating in an effort to raise money for youth homelessness. Part of Virgin Mobile’s one-day summer concert festival attended by 35,000 people, Hedgehog was designed as a modular steel frame wrapped by a spiky skin of 300 standard traffic cones and was erected in under 6 hours. The temporary nature of the concert event called for a "pop-up" architecture that turned speed to its advantage, using ready-made materials in an unexpected way. The intense repetition of the ubiquitous traffic cone, an element of the street displaced into the woods, allowed this item to overcome its usual message of danger and caution and instead promote a sense of festivity.
In collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
While architecture’s role in reforming the prison system may be arguable, incarceration is undoubtedly a spatial issue. The prison isolates the criminal at a safe distance from the fluid space of the public and places him or her within an irreducible space deemed habitable. Punishment is calculated along a spatio-temporal matrix; the more severe the crime, the more punitive the space and the longer the prisoner is condemned to it. This punishment formula comes into question with criminal acts of ethical ambiguity. Visitors to the installation are asked to rethink the fit between crime and punishment. A touch screen is the interface for this intricate and politically charged interactive video game. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted with a LCD screen displaying a matrix of crimes selected for their severity and moral ambiguity: drug use, sexual deviance, insider trading, conspiracy, disturbing the peace, unlawful conduct, illegal immigration, etc. After a crime is selected, the screen renders an initial cell design as an interactive panorama. By pointing the screen in any direction, left-right-up-down, the view will be displayed as a virtual transparency aligned with the space beyond. As the viewer adjusts the confinement according to parameters of hard/soft, opacity/transparency and dumb/smart, the screen displays the resulting cell design in QuickTime VR. This new calculus for spatial confinement recognizes the diversity of the prison population. Thus using a one-size-fits-all shell, the cell can be customized to the individual with a series of options that accommodate isolation, privacy, social interface and access to light, fresh air, climate control, view, information and communication.
In collaboration with Gaspar Libedinsky.
As a vital component of the current effort to revitalize Rosario, Argentina's industrial waterfront, Billboard Park is a recreation landscape that occupies both the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the site in order to provide an open lawn as well as river vistas to the public. Constrained to a triangular plot of land set away from the water's edge, Billboard Park rises up to form a vertical landscape, with a green side facing the river and an asphalt side facing the highway and neighborhood beyond. A lightweight, soil-free growth medium is used to generate a vertical garden across a concrete structural honeycomb. The open structural pattern organizes both the horizontal and vertical planes and provides a number of occupiable niches as well as a dynamic visual icon for Rosario. The surrounding development is a public/private venture and is currently under construction.
Hayley Eber and Frank Gesualdi of EFGH, with assistance by David Rhoese
Gateway National Recreation Area is comprised of 61% water. As a network of landmasses spread across a vast fluid terrain, GNRA has the unique opportunity to engage in and celebrate the potential of this aquatic landscape. In response to this environment, H2grOw draws on techniques of floater hydroponics, exploring the possibilities of using water as a resource for planting, transportation, energy harnessing, food production and recreation. A fleet of mobile Hydro Pods, each measuring 75’ x 140’, is deployed across Gateway’s network of islands and peninsulas. Each pod is a hydroponic eco-system grown completely without soil. This new landscape is supported primarily on a pontoon ring structure, beneath which hangs a semi permeable membrane housing all essential nutrients.
The large array of mobile landscape “particles” allow for unlimited reconfigurations and combinatorial complexity. All robust ecosystems depend on a balance of conditions to maintain a dynamic equilibrium; H2grOw provides a level of responsiveness and adaptability suitable for the natural rhythms of Gateway. The landscape units self-sort and cluster to form diverse combinations of both similar and dissimilar plant species and environments. It is this continuous, slow process of mixing that allows Gateway, as a living ecosystem, to constantly reinvent itself. It is its very instability that allows it to remain vital and thriving. Gateway National Recreation area is here envisioned as a differential environment that harnesses change and leverages flux.
In 2010 the NY Jets will move into the newly constructed Meadowlands Stadium. EFGH has been asked to study a variety of spatial branding strategies that will mark this new location with the unmistakable identity of the team. The new stadium will continue to operate as a shared venue for both the Jets and the NY Giants, becoming to identify design strategies that can be quickly deployed (and dismantled) for game day. A range of technologies and techniques are explored that would provide a large spatial impact, potentially visible from neighboring highways, always performing within the operative constraint of "temporary deployment".
"20 Centers for 2010" is the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The aim is to achieve positive social change through football by building twenty Football for Hope Centers for public health, education and football across Africa. The centers address local social challenges in disadvantaged areas while improving education and health services for young people. The infrastructure will consist of a building to provide public health services and informal education, office space, common space for community gatherings, and a small-size artificial turf pitch. Above all, the objective of the Football for Hope Centers is to promote social development within their community and strengthen local organizations with vital infrastructure.
The design simultaneously creates a clearly defined, inwardly focused space for soccer as well as an outward-looking, expandable facility that recognizes and integrates with the local landscape. The 20x40m soccer pitch is defined by a perimeter of tilted planes that rise to enclose the various programs beneath. On the two long edges of the pitch these tilted surfaces become the main spectator viewing areas- one for formalized seating (bleachers) - and one for informal seating (grass mound). These pitched surfaces direct and gather rainwater and distribute it to catchments basins at ground level.
The triangular geometry acts as a "module" for growth; these triangular modules accumulate to provide both enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces as well as patios and gardens. As needed, additional enclosure can be added over time, providing a continuous and connected facility that integrates into the landscape and with the surrounding community. The ‘quilt’ also allows for local materials to be seamlessly interchanged with the proposed material palette depending on alternate locations and climates, providing an infinite ‘patchwork’ of sustainable material options.
Open House Installation
Levittown, NY 2011
With collaborative consumption and new practices of service becoming increasingly widespread, existing spatial rules of the suburbs have become outdated and inadequate. Future Open Houses invites guests of Open House to an overview of the ways in which the new practices of Service might affect the spaces, patterns and protocols of the suburb. A 6-block case study zone in Levittown has been selected. What if a user-generated, bottom-up service economy were to take hold here? What are the logics of organization that would emerge? How would new landscape patterns, zoning codes and public/ private relationships evolve? EFGH proposes a catalogue of extended house typologies and spatial negotiations for the suburbs where increased density, opportunistic land use and new combinations of program coexist.
Costa Rica, 2012
A long and narrow building sited at the top of a lush green mountain in Costa Rica, this house is a porous three dimensional frame that almost disappears into the landscape. Carefully balancing abundant access to air, light and views with the need for episodes of privacy and enclosure, this house is an attenuated deck that loosely holds a few solid concrete blocks – the bedrooms and a swimming pool. Distant views to the ocean are framed by the teak structure and expansive roof. The strategic positioning of built-in furnishings and a carefully choreographed path through the length of the house promise a dynamic relationship to the site.
Van Alen Ground/Work
Competition Finalist, New York 2013
Interior = City. A microcosm of the space of the city, the new Van Alen Institute is imagined as a container for dynamic life. As an institution committed to the expansion of the definition of “public architecture” and the processes that shape the public realm, the VAI needs a home that embodies that ambition. Recognizing the dramatic proportions of the existing site as an opportunity, the proposed new Ground/ Work space turns a long skinny ground floor volume into a virtue: it maximizes the street level space, creating a single room - a large “grand hall” - that strives to reach the scale of the street, and extend the life of 22nd Street into the heart of the Institute.
Through the easy manipulation of three mobile components in the space, The Media Wedge, The Bleacher and the Hinge Table, the VAI can be radically transformed by a few employees in a short amount of time.
Chop't Creative Salad
New York + Washington DC, 2011-2014
EFGH was asked to revitalize an existing restaurant brand. The design for Chop’t is a prototype comprised of key components that will “drop in” to all future locations, becoming the new design standard for the brand. These components are both large pieces of furniture and small pieces of architecture, participating in and regulating the high volume flow of customer traffic. We’ve introduced variable speeds to the space - slow, medium and fast. Each component inserts itself along the customer’s path and produces a local environment within a larger spatial field: The Wall Peel is a wall-covering/ furniture/ signage hybrid. The Stage is a folded steel structure that wraps the existing salad equipment and is also an illuminated internal facade. The bent metal assembly acts as structural surface and provides stability to the form. The Alcove provides a room-within-a-room: softer finishes, warmer lighting and a lower ceiling provide a respite from the fast pace of the restaurant.
Flatiron Plaza, 2014
On a site surrounded by views of New York’s most iconic buildings, KaleidescApe simultaneously frames these structures in isolation, while at the same time scrambles them within the surrounding context. The faceted mirror skin operates at the scale of an urban kaleidescope, reflecting fragmented images of the buildings and cityscape in a three-dimensional abstraction of a familiar urban environment. On the “interior” side of the triangulated envelope, users are encouraged to not only view, but touch/ sit/ hug/ lay, leaving a temporary impression of their prints on the thermo-chromic surface. The installation is evocative of a crystalline structure in a winter wonderland, climatically suited to its environment, while the heat activated surfaces challenge this comfort zone. At night, the LED strip lights outline the faceted geometry while the surfaces disappear and retreat into the urban context.
Guggenheim Museum Helsinki
Competition Entry, 2014
The Guggenheim Museum embodies two major qualities that set it apart from the ever-growing field of museums around the world. First, it is a place for a grand, social experience of art and second it is a sculpture itself – invigorating and celebrating the city around it.
This proposal, obviously, breaks the rules. But it does so with the conviction that this is the most vivid, natural and civic way to bring the Guggenheim Museum to Helsinki. By locating the building in the harbor it takes center stage, focusing attention on both itself and also back toward the city surrounding it. Etelasatama becomes integral to Helsinki’s urban fabric, at its center a new jewel for the city.
Visitors arrive via ferry, ascending from the island plaza though a sequence of galleries set within a large volume. A dramatic, integrated experience of art, the spectacle of society and the city itself will define the new museum.
Brothehood Preschool Playground
Gramercy Park, 2015
A 50’ x 20’ infill urban site is transformed into an outdoor learning and play space with custom-designed play structures and equipment that are tied into the school’s science curriculum. The 45-deg grid divides the playground into three distinct spatial zones with different programmatic possibilities intended to help develop a range of motor skills.