Snarkitecture opens immersive ‘fun house’ in Washington DC

Snarkitecture partners Alex Mustonen, Daniel Arsham, and Ben Porto in their ‘Fun House’ installation at the National Building Museum. The three people are standing in an area filled to waist height with white balls.
Snarkitecture partners Alex Mustonen, Daniel Arsham, and Ben Porto in their ‘Fun House’ installation at the National Building Museum, Washington DC.
(Image credit: Photography: Noah Kalina)

Snarkitecture’s ‘Fun House’ has opened in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum in Washington DC as part of the institution’s annual Summer Block Party series and it’s likely to be the Instagram hit of the season.

Following in the footsteps of Bjarke Ingels Group, Studio Gang and James Corner Field Operations, who have all created installations at the museum, Snarkitecture has created a white temporary structure that houses some of its most memorable work. The ‘Fun House’, curated by Maria Cristina Didero, will be Snarkitecture’s first comprehensive museum showing and coincides with the practice’s tenth anniversary.

An area view of the 'Fun House' area. This has been designed to look like a beach resort with everything in white. There are sun umbrellas and beach chairs on the perimeter; a swimming pool in the centre and a smaller pool to the corner.

Aerial view of ‘Fun House’, 2018, by Snarkitecture at the National Building Museum, Washington DC.

(Image credit: Photography: Noah Kalina)

‘A little over a year ago, we started working on our first book about Snarkitecture, which is coming out in April with Phaidon,’ recalls Alex Mustonen, who founded the practice with Daniel Arsham. ‘The process of sifting through hundreds of projects – from when we first started the studio in 2008 through last year – became an opportunity to reflect on the wide range of work we’ve created within the larger ideas of the practice.’

He adds, ‘In editing and organising everything to fit within the context of a book that would introduce new audiences to Snarkitecture, we started to think of the idea of an exhibition with a similar aim. Many of our projects have existed in a specific places for a short duration of time, so what would it look like to bring these moments together within a single venue, accessible to a diverse audience? We wanted to invite visitors to experience past objects, installations and architectural scale projects by Snarkitecture in a tactile and immersive way.’

Staged within a freestanding, house-like structure that riffs on the idea of a typical home, ‘Fun House’ comprises a series of interactive rooms that showcase recognisable Snarkitecture environments and objects from over the years, as well as new concepts developed especially for the occasion.

Installation view of The Beach, 2015, by Snarkitecture, at the National Building Museum in Washington DC

Installation view of The Beach, 2015, by Snarkitecture, an interactive exhibition of more than one million antimicrobial balls that filled the Great Hall at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.

(Image credit: Photography: Noah Kalina)

The house features a front and back yard filled with ‘outdoor activities’ for visitors to enjoy, plus a kidney-shaped pool full of antimicrobial balls echoing Snarkitecture’s popular The Beach installation (above), which made its debut at the National Building Museum in 2015 before continuing on in numerous iterations and travelling around the world.

‘Making architecture and design approachable and fun is at the heart of the success of our sumer series,’ says Chase Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. ‘Snarkitecture really understands our mission of inspiring curiosity about the world we design and build, and we’re excited to be working with them for the second time.’

The installation includes a large white house with a white fence.

(Image credit: press)

An arial view of the museum with the focus of the view looking down upon letters that spell out FUN HOUSE.

(Image credit: press)

Looking into the beach area towards a beach house.

(Image credit: press)

A close-up of the beach area with two umbrellas and nine beach chairs.

(Image credit: press)

A close up of the hundreds of white balls in the display.

(Image credit: press)

A white corridor with a mirror at the end.

(Image credit: press)

A frame with c.30 white cylinders being held up in the air.

(Image credit: press)


For more information, visit the Snarkitecture website and National Building Museum website


National Building Museum
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Washington DC 20001


Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.