Snark Park, a Monochromatic Amusement Park, Opens at Hudson Yards
Ben Porto, one of three principals at Snarkitecture, said that when Hudson Yards asked the studio to create a public art installation, they came back and proposed, “What about a Snark Park instead?” With the green light from the project’s developers, Snarkitecture has transformed a space on the second floor of the new glossy retail complex, The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, into Snark Park—a permanent venue for the studio’s signature immersive exhibitions. Today, Snark Park’s inaugural installation, Lost and Found, opens to the public, giving visitors the chance to experience one of the studio’s public projects, which often toe the line between speculative architecture and art.
For its inaugural exhibition, Snarkitecture has built an indoor forest, albeit, an entirely monochromatic one. Lost and Found seeks to encourage a sense of material discovery through the use of touch and smell, reducing the visual overload. The room is almost entirely mirrored, creating a sense of being dropped into an endless, colorless woodland. The mirrors are also two-way, allowing visitors outside of the installation to observe those within. Strewn throughout the gallery, which is floored with spongy white astroturf, are twelve-foot-tall columns akin to enormous man-made tree trunks. Some of these are hollow, inviting visitors to step inside for a more intimate, individual experience. Each is filled with a different material—disco-ball mirrors, sound-absorbing foam, fake fur—prompting surprise and delight from those who venture inside. There is also a custom scent, not quite natural, but not quite synthetic either, designed to saturate the air and create a more holistic physical atmosphere. Demonstrating all the wit and charm Snarkitecture has to offer, Lost and Found is just the first in a series of design environments that will transform Snark Park every four months.
To complement the installation, Snarkitecture has also designed merchandise for the Park. Along with the typical goods, umbrellas, and mugs, you can buy a perforated notebook with peelable pages (recalling the studio's recent wallpaper design for Calico) and an adorable white plush squid, appropriately named Snarky. Snark Park is also in collaboration with KITH Treats, who have created a custom marshmellowy ice cream flavor just for Snark Park.
A welcome neighbor to Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Shed and Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel, Snark Park—sitting at the intersection of architecture, art, and installation—will be a popular destination for Hudson Yards visitors looking for wonderment beyond the High Line.