Hudson Yards has arrived. Along with high-end shops, luxury apartments, and premium office real estate, the $25-billion neighborhood development project introduces new immersive art and design experiences to New York City. One of these experiences comes courtesy of Snarkitecture, the New York-based design collaborative responsible for widely publicized traveling and site-specific installations such as “The Beach” and “Fun House.”
Dubbed Snark Park, Snarkitecture’s newest space, located at 20 Hudson Yards, is a departure from its regularly more ephemeral work. It will be the firm’s first permanent exhibition space and will feature three installations over the course of the year. The first of these, “Lost and Found,” is on display now. It’s a stark space filled with white columns, mirrored walls, and gray flooring, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheerless. In fact, the space draws inspiration from some of the most cheerful people there are: kids.
“Children were a big influence on ‘Lost and Found’,” explains Daniel Arsham, one of Snarkitecture’s three partners. “More specifically, watching the way children play and interact with architecture. We integrate the way they infuse it with their own ideas and purposes into our work. In that way, we’re able to take something adults know in one context and flip it around into something totally new.”
When designing "Lost and Found," the partners were thinking of childhood games like hide and seek and stories such as "Hansel and Gretel," says Arsham. The columns, arranged like a haphazard maze, and mirror walls create a modern if a bit reductive forest primeval, perfect for getting lost in. Many of the columns are hollowed-out and filled with surprising and enticing tactile materials, such as faux fur or beaded curtains. Mirrored tiles and overhead lights within some of the columns skillfully play with visual perceptions (as well as making for excellent selfie opportunities). As the first installation in Snark Park, “Lost and Found” certainly echoes the psychic sensation of Snarkitecture’s preceding works in that it feels like a journey into something utterly unknown but not unfamiliar.
Snark Park is now open and admission is $28 for 45 minutes of exploration. While waiting to get inside, visitors can pick up merchandise designed by Snarkitecture or sample an installation-exclusive ice cream flavor developed by Snark Park’s co-partner KITH Treats called “Snark Bite.”
For more on the debut of Hudson Yards, see our reports on the shopping mall featuring New York City's first Neiman Marcus and the Elena Frampton-designed model apartment in amenity-packed 15 Hudson Yards.