Snarkitecture opens immersive ‘fun house’ in Washington DC
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.
Aerial view of ‘Fun House’, 2018, by Snarkitecture at the National Building Museum, Washington DC. 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, an interactive exhibition of more than one million antimicrobial balls that filled the Great Hall at the National Building Museum in Washington DC. 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.’ §