New York studio Snarkitecture has taken over a space at Hudson Yards to allow the public to explore its experiments, including an inaugural installation comprising a landscape of cork-clad columns.
Snark Park sits on the second floor of The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, the retail and entertainment complex opening to the public at the huge Manhattan development today.
It offers a perennial place for exhibitions and events created by the studio, which has previously focused on temporary structures and installations – like its bouncy playground in Hong Kong and a sea of translucent balls in Washington DC.
“This is our first permanent Snarkitecture project,” partner Alex Mustonen told Dezeen. “We’ve done many projects for other clients, but this is the first one really for ourselves.”
Facing onto the plaza at the centre of Hudson Yards and visible from Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel, Snark Park aims to entice visitors into the shopping mall with immersive experiences.
The space will feature a rotating installation programme, set to change approximately every four months.
“For us to be able to have this playground and laboratory to be able to test things, to incubate ideas from the studio in a real-life scenario is unique,” said Mustonen.
The first exhibition is titled Lost and Found, and comprises a forest of grey cylindrical pillars set within an equally monochrome room – in line with Snarkitecture’s typical palette.
The tubes are wrapped in cork to give “a softness and an acoustic quality” to the space, and vary in height from the entrance to the back of the space.
Some are inhabitable or offer surprises, like linings of faux-fur, mirrored tiles and ping-pong balls, or the ability to communicate with other parts of the installation.
“The idea is that while you’re in here, you’re finding things that aren’t what they appear, or aren’t like the other things,” said Snarkitecture partner Ben Porto. “It’s really about exploration and discovery, and hopefully a little bit of getting lost.”
Also tucked away is a room hidden behind a two-way mirror, which Porto described as a “voyeuristic chill-out area”. Visitors can lounge on large black cushions, and observe those wandering around or taking selfies on the other side of the mirror.
Lost and Found will remain on view until August 2019. Timed and dated tickets are available to book online, while a few will be reserved for walk-ups.
“This is the inaugural project, so we’re just getting into what the possibilities of the space are,” Mustonen said. “We’re excited to see how this version and this project is experienced and how people interact with it.”
Snark Park also includes a public-facing retail area that sells objects and merchandise designed by the studio. In partnership with Kith Treats, snacks including a new ice cream flavour are available.
Facing onto the mall concourse, a window display currently hosts a choreographed performance of claw machines picking up ghost-like soft toys known as Snarky – also available to purchase as a souvenir.
Snarkitecture was founded over a decade ago by Mustonen and artist Daniel Arsham as a multidisciplinary studio, and the team has created installations, exhibitions and projects for brands including Caesarstone, COS, Kith and Valextra.
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