Notable entries II: Site narratives

Three Folly/Function entries incorporate either strong site narratives or elements of participatory design.

Moving beyond the realm of architectural object with compelling stories or concepts, the entries reconceptualize site through an expansion or grounding of place or through utilizing non-architectural elements embedded within an overarching narrative.

Light Box

The eloquence of Light Box by Chat Travesio is not only found in the project’s simple shed-like wood and polycarbonate structure that radiates a soft glow at night, but also in Travesio’s insightful approach to program and place. Travesio believes “understanding the primary user of a space through conversation and engagement opportunities allows one to be more empathic to their needs and creates a stronger emotional and social connection between the user and the space.” Embracing Socrates’ mission, Travesio fuses educational programming and participatory design by transforming young people into makers during the construction process.

Poly-Functional Folly

Poly-Functional-Folly by OOAA explores the relationship between object and site. A monolithic wall made from wooden railroad ties stretches along the park’s entry, screening the view and allowing for a play between light and shadow. The shadow that the wall produces extends into the park and adds a third dimension to the structure, creating a new space. As such, the use of a monumental wall and “third space” allows for Poly-Functional-Folly to transform its relationship with the education corridor and park.

The Pliable Parthenon

In addition to an expansion of the proposed education corridor, R.A.M.’s The Pliable Parthenon prompts a compelling conceptual dialogue between history and place through formal references to the Parthenon. The proposal “replicates the exact proportion of the [Parthenon’s] main façade, but quickly subverts this homage both materially and formally.” Extending towards the front of the park, the pavilion also “corrects the inherent folly of the original model” through the addition of a roof, and holistically addresses the site through an expansion of program.

Folly/Function is a competition co-sponsored by The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park that invites emerging architects and designers to propose contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly.


Further into the follies

An exploration of the finalists and notable entries to the 2017 Folly/Function competition.

Article Folly/Function 2017

Folly 2013: tree wood

Installations images and renderings of the winning entry by Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood and Jared Diganci.

Folly/Function 2013


An exhibition featuring work from League Prize 2019 winners.

League Prize League Prize