Snarkitecture and COS lose (and find) their marbles in Seoul

’Loop’ is the product of collaboration between Snarkitecture and COS

In 2014, Snarkitecture presented ‘Marble Run’ – an interpretation of the popular children’s toy where marbles wind around a path – at the Delano during Art Basel in Miami Beach. Visitors plucked black marbles from a circular, mirrored plinth, dropping them anywhere along the 10 ft high installation to watch them roll down various paths.

Now Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen, the duo behind the New York-based firm Snarkitecture are building another marble maze, this time with COS at Gana Art Center in Seoul, South Korea through 19 November. Titled ‘Loop’, the installation consists of four light blue powder-coated aluminum metal tracks that stretch 500 m, and curve around a stark white exhibition space, providing an intertwined path for the marbles.

Some 100,000 white-glass balls go in and out of the run, thanks to precision engineering that makes the installation come alive. ‘There’s a circular black hole in the wall and every ten second it spits out a marble,’ explained Arsham, who said that the marbles land on the floor in an adjoining space, creating a sea that visitors walk through, on an elevated path. Then, they go into a hole in the floor to be circulated back into the maze.

A close-up of the light blue powder-coated aluminum metal tracks that interwove between each other.

‘Loop’ consists of four light blue powder-coated aluminum metal tracks that stretch 500 m

(Image credit: TBC)

The light blue path subtley contrasts the white background while the white marbles roll down and around the installation. ‘Our intention was to create a contemplative environment with "Loop" – a space that was not immediately understood upon entering,’ said Arsham. ‘While we wanted the design to be playful, we were mindful of creating a work that provided an escape.’

COS will also present a miniature version of the installation at its Cheongdam store in Seoul for the duration of the exhibition. Mustonen hopes to collaborate with the minimalist fashion label again. ‘In conceiving this project – our third with COS – we wanted to offer visitors an experience that combines the values and sensibility of the brand with our perspective and approach,’ he said. ‘It is a legacy we are developing together and we hope the project offers visitors an interactive and memorable experience.’

A close-up of a marble on the tracks.

It is the second marble maze by Snarkitecture, following its 'Marble Run' from 2014

(Image credit: TBC)

Karin Gustafsson of COS and Snarkitecture's Alex Mustonen standing next to each other in front of their display.

Karin Gustafsson of COS and Snarkitecture's Alex Mustonen at the Gana Art Gallery in Seoul

(Image credit: TBC)

A close-up of someone touching the marble on the track.

The four aluminium metal tracks interweave around the exhibition space

(Image credit: TBC)

A female lying down on top of 100,000 white glass marbles.

100,000 white glass marbles traverse the run, slowly forming a sea of marbles that visitors can walk over

(Image credit: TBC)

A close-up of the marble run with two holes in the floor.

Marbles are reintroduced to the run via a hole in the floor, continuing the marble circulation

(Image credit: TBC)


‘Loop’ is on view until 19 November. For more information, visit the Snarkitecture website, the COS website and the Gana Art Center website


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Ann Binlot is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer who covers art, fashion, design, architecture, food, and travel for publications like Wallpaper*, the Wall Street Journal, and Monocle. She is also editor-at-large at Document Journal and Family Style magazines.