By now you’ve surely seen a friend or relative’s selfie from the massive ball pit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The installation, dubbed The BEACH, was designed by Snarkitecture and includes nearly one-million all-white, translucent, recyclable plastic balls. It’s like a McDonald’s ball pit, but artsier and probably a little bit cleaner.
Last year a labyrinth, now a giant ball pit: National Building Museum hosts indoor beach in its Great Hall
The magnificent, four-story Great Hall of the National Building Museum is now a site for executing cannonballs, rolling on the floor laughing, and other acts of gleeful revelry. A giant ball pit filled with recyclable translucent plastic orbs cuts between the colossal Corinthian columns, bounded by an enclosure made from scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh all painted stark white.
Tis the season for unique design objets. A collaboration between Snarkitecture and the artisans at Dandelion Chocolate has created the Break Bar—a double entendre name, indeed. The bar proved a challenge to produce, with only 50 bars molded daily by the chocolatiers. Total output: A limited edition of 500.
Pharrell Williams recently sat down to interview architect Alexander Gorlin and artist/designer Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture. They discussed their influences and creative processes. The conversation took place in Gorlin’s apartment in his eponymous building in Miami. As Pharrell noted, “We’re sitting in your idea right now… That’s deep.”
(Editor’s Note: FXFOWLE Architect’s PR head, Karen Bookatz, offers a brief, Instagrammed account of architecture and design highlights at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.)
Don’t get me wrong: I love art and I love attending art fairs. They provide one a unique opportunity to see what’s fresh and new in the art and design industries—or whatever trade is being rep’d—every few months. For me, however, a booth is a booth is a booth. Art fairs must continue to find new ways of further distinguishing themselves or otherwise run the risk of conventionality.
What Frieze did last May with SO-IL’s tent design (and to a lesser extent, Bade Stageberg and Cox’s environmental design effort for The Armory Show 2012) was a major step in the right direction. Likewise, custom installations and collaborative efforts, while public relations/marketing ventures more than anything else, have proven to be undeniably effective in creating buzz and increasing visibility for the respective firm, artist, or collaborative. (This is why I was personally so adamant about my own firm’s presence—with an architectural installation/lounge project at the Miami Project art fair—at this year’s Basel.)
Lurking under the High Line has been a bit more fun since Building Fashion began its series of architecture-and-fashion installations in September, erecting a new collaboration every two weeks as a means of reusing the former onsite Sales Tin of Neil Denari’s HL23 condos. On Thursday, Brooklyn firm Snarkitecture and fashion designer Richard Chai will unveil the fourth project in the series, a cave carved by hand from architectural foam. Designed to give shoppers the feel of a glacial cavern, the pop-up shop will feature men’s and women’s fashions displayed on shelves, niches, and hang bars embedded in the foam. Read More