Folly 2014: SuralArk
May 11—August 3, 2014
The park is open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. until sunset. Admission is free.
Beginning May 2014, the park will provide a free shuttle service to/from nearby cultural attractions. For more information about visiting and Long Island City Art Shuttle information, click here.
The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park present SuralArk, a new installation by Austin + Mergold. SuralArk is the winning entry in Folly, an annual competition co-sponsored by the League and Socrates, which invites emerging architects and designers to propose contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly, traditionally a fanciful, small-scale building or pavilion sited in a garden or landscape to frame a view or serve as conversation piece. Folly was established by Socrates, in partnership with the League, to explore the intersections between architecture and sculpture and the increasing overlaps in references, materials, and building techniques between the two disciplines.
Conflating the form of an overturned ship and a typical suburban house, SuralArk will provide shelter for respite and contemplation for thousands of park visitors this spring and summer. The large-scale installation—part ship, part house—will span more than 50 feet with an elevation of 16 feet. Representative of the increasingly blurred lines between city, suburban environments, and rural living, Austin + Mergold’s SuralArk will be covered by a patchwork of vinyl siding—a typical material often used on nearby Queens residences. At Socrates, SuralArk will be light permeable and emit a warm glow as the sun bleeds through its surface. The upturned ark echoes the park’s past while considering the future, as a possible escape from rising tides that submerged the park in October 2012 during Super Storm Sandy.
SuralArk was selected by a jury made up of Chris Doyle, Artist; John Hatfield, Socrates Sculpture Park; Enrique Norten, TEN Arquitectos; Lisa Switkin, James Corner Field Operations; and Ada Tolla, LOT-EK.
For more information about the competition and winning project, including an interview with Austin + Mergold, click here. To purchase a print-on-demand booklet with the interview, project profile, and survey of notable entries, visit lulu.com. To read the publication digitally, visit Socrates Sculpture Park’s website.
About the Designers
Austin + Mergold is an architecture and landscape design practice established in Philadelphia in 2007 by architects Aleksandr Mergold and Jason Austin. Austin and Mergold were winners of The Architectural League Prize in 2010.
About Socrates Sculpture Park
For over 25 years Socrates Sculpture Park has been a model of public art production, community activism, and socially inspired place-making. Known for fostering experimental and visionary artworks, the park has exhibited more than 900 artists on its five waterfront acres, providing them financial and material resources and outdoor studio facilities to create large-scale artworks on-site. Open 365 days a year, the park also offers a full season of dynamic public programming—all free and open to the public.
Folly 2014 was made possible by a generous grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The Exhibition Program at Socrates Sculpture Park is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charina Endowment Fund, Cowles Charitable Trust, Lambent Foundation, Mark di Suvero, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Ivana Mestrovic, Shelley and Donald Rubin, and the Thomas W. Smith Foundation. These exhibitions are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
In conversation: Jason Timberlake Austin, Aleksandr Mergold, and Elissa Goldstone
The winners of Folly 2014 discuss their practice.
Folly 2014: Notable entries
A look at the finalists for the 2014 competition.
Folly 2014: SuralArk
Images and renderings of the winning entry by Austin + Mergold.