New York City, NY
This year’s winning proposal for Folly, an annual juried competition for architects and designers, is the New York City-based firm Hou de Sousa, with their inventive proposal Sticks. Modeled to fit and complement existing site conditions, Sticks is a simple assembly of standard dimensional lumber interconnected to form a structural frame for educational and community use, as well as for providing art and material storage and display space. Finally, its porous façade reflects the park’s spirit of accessibility and dedication to transparency of process.
In past years, the Folly program has investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture through the conceptual framework of “follies”—temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. Marking the program’s fifth and the park’s thirtieth anniversaries, Folly 2016 marks a departure from previous years’ competitions by asking entrants to design a functional structure to enhance the park’s public programs. The result is a durable design that explores the relationship between art and architecture, while also creatively enhancing the park’s education studio, where more than 10,000 students annually participate in art-making classes.
Throughout May and June this summer, Hou de Sousa will be in the park building Sticks, in full view of the public; this transparency of the creative process is a distinct component of the Folly program. Sticks will be accompanied by a digital catalogue and unique editorial content hosted on archleague.org that details the project and process, featuring interviews with the architects and top proposals from the 2016 competition.
Hou de Sousa is an award-winning New York-based architecture and design studio founded by Josh de Sousa and Nancy Hou. The office has completed a range of work, including private residences, restaurants, public spaces, and art installations. Their primary objective is to provide innovative design solutions which are culturally progressive and environmentally responsible.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website