Bivouac is an urban camping experience in six artist-built lean-tos installed on the roof of a building.

Bivouac's host, artist Thomas Stevenson, acts as camp counselor/park ranger, leading campers in cooking a communal dinner.

Campers bring a sleeping bag and food to share, leaving electronics behind.

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Need to Knows


The project happens during late spring and early fall for a week each time. booking generally happens 10 days beforehand.


Generally New York City, within walking distance of a subway. I'm always on the look out for new locations.
If you have access to a roof I'd love to talk.

it is camping aka roughing it, 
in a city, on a roof

here is what i think you need to know. if i haven't covered a topic or you have a specific question, email me thank you and look forward to seeing you!


there are 6 tents. they're fun and awesome to sleep in. they're big…for a tent.

most people can fully stand up in the front end. they are canvas and the flooring is 1-inch wool felt. the canvas is waterproof and the felt feels like sleeping on packed sand.

each tent fits and sleeps 2 adults very comfortably with room for a 3 if you want to be extra cozy.

what's provided

new friends, a view, a canteen with: a kitchen area, a large reclaimed wood communal table, library and morning coffee.

Yes a real toilet too (within the building)


what's not available

internet, fire, electricity, a shower (you can live one day without those, can't you?)

what to bring

I ask each camper to bring at least one food item to be used in the communal dinner: a protein, a starch, vegetables (in a reasonable quantity) we can discus via email. be creative and share. 

sleeping bag, blankets, pillows. whatever is comfortable for you to sleep in and on.

what not to bring

pets (unless they are necessary for assistance), electronic devices (e.g. laptops, cellphones, cameras, etc), friends (unless they are campers too)


you are on a roof.
be very mindful of the edge. 


similar to the other great outdoors, this wilderness has an assortment of opinionated neighbors (new yorkers). please be respectful and try to blend in with your surroundings.  


there is no cost to participate.


if there is something I haven't covered, just ask send an email 


general timings for this scant 15 hour excursion. (campers come for one night)

6pm till 7pm

Campers Arrive
(choose a tent get aquatinted with the location/ meet the other participants)

8pm till 11pm (ish)

Dinner Time
(preparation/ conversation/ cleanup)

11pm till 8am


8am till 9am

(coffee/ tea/ yogurt/ granola/ fruit) 

9am (ish)

Campers pack-up their gear
exit the roof and depart back into the world

9am till 6pm

Site is closed

questions send an email


Press + Conversations

John Leland, 
Sleepover in a Rooftop Camp.”
New York Times, August 23, 2013 

Andrew Burton, 
Rooftop camping in New York City.” 
USA Today, June 17 2013

Anna Sanders, 
Urban camping: Brooklyn artist shows how to get away” 
London Daily Mail, June 16 2013

Sydney Brownstone, 
Artist Invites You to Go Rooftop Camping” 
Village Voice, June 11 2013

Elaina Plott, 
Under the Stars and Above the Streets: Artist Organizes Rooftop Campground” 
New York Observer, June 11 2013

Bivouac NYC – USA
Future Concepts Lab, August, 2013

Sam Katz, 
"Gallery Glass Episode 15"
YouTube, September 15, 2013

Jen Chung,  
"Artist Sets Up Secret Rooftop Camping In Brooklyn"
Gothamistt, Jun 16, 2013, 

Hana R. Alberts,  
"Artist Runs Rooftop Camp-Outs, This Weekend And Beyond"
Curbed,  Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 

Dylan Schenke,
"Go Camping On NYC’s Rooftops"
PSFK,  October 26, 2011. 

"Bivouac New York"
October 25, 2011,

Lisa Eppich 
This Collection Includes A Complete Portable Home"

Refinery 29,  October 26, 2011

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About the Artist

Thomas Stevenson is an artist living in Brooklyn New York. He makes sculptural objects that are focused on momentary interactions that happen when people occupy the same space. 

His projects have been deployed in urban streets and rooftops, in the Mojave desert, at the New Museum's Ideas City Festival and Art Basel Miami, Beijing, Belarus, and Wales. His projects have been written about in the New York Times, the Village Voice, USA Today, and the New York Observer.

Thomas has an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a BA in Philosophy from Boston University. He recently completed the Art & Law program in New York City.

see THOMAS'S other works