The proposed Overdose Prevention Pavilions seek to destigmatize the disease that is opioid addiction by making temporary Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in public spaces commonplace amidst the city.
An OPC is a private space for users to use illicit substances under trained staff supervision to eliminate overdose deaths, prevent the spread of infectious diseases that happens through sharing needles, and connect users with addiction treatment. In 2021, New York Mayor de Blasio approved the opening of the first OPC in America in Washington Heights, run by the organization OnPoint NYC.
The proposed pavilions would fill the need for safe injection space in public where there is frequent substance use and needle litter. The pavilions’ enclosure creates private space within the public realm with a consistent visual language to make them recognizable.
The structure is a scaffolding system used to articulate these pavilions’ temporality as well as to make the pavilion reconfigurable to meet its site’s capacity needs. The outermost layer is an opaque mesh fabric that creates privacy for the space within, allowing the second layer, made up of channel glass, to have operable apertures users can see through while not being surveilled by people outside.