“Fun House,” designed by Snarkitecture in Washington, D.C., is the latest in the National Building Museum’s imaginative Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall that includes a white gabled house and a kidney-shaped ball pit.
The “Fun House” installation marks 10 years since Snarkitecture, run by artist Daniel Arsham, and architects Alex Mustonen and Ben Porto, was founded in Brooklyn.
“Fun House” is Snarkitecture’s first comprehensive museum exhibition, examining the prolific activities of the studio throughout the entirety of the Great Hall. Curated by Italy-based Maria Cristina Didero, the heart of the exhibition is presented within a Snarkitecture-designed house — a freestanding structure that recalls and reimagines the idea of the traditional home.
“Fun House” includes a sequence of interactive rooms featuring well-known Snarkitecture environments and objects, like “Dig” (2011) and “Drift”(2012), as well as new concepts developed for the museum. As visitors walk through the house, the rooms convey the 10-year story of Snarkitecture while underlining the studio’s peculiar, yet accessible way of reinterpreting the built environment.
In the museum’s west court, or “front yard,” a custom recreation of “A Memorial Bowing” (2012) welcomes visitors into the space. Visitors exit the house towards the east court, or “backyard,” greeted by “Playhouse” (2017) and a kidney-shaped pool filled with hundreds of thousands of recyclable plastic balls, reminiscent of “The BEACH” (2015-17).
“Fun House represents a unique opportunity for us to bring together a number of different snarkitecture-designed interiors, installations, and objects into a single, immersive experience,” said Alex Mustonen, co-founder of Snarkitecture. “Our practice aims to create moments that make architecture accessible and engaging to a wide, diverse audience. With that in mind, we are excited to invite all visitors to the national building museum to an exhibition and installation that we hope is both unexpected and memorable.”
Founded in 2008 by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham, and joined by partner Benjamin Porto in 2014, Snarkitecture is a New York-based collaborative practice operating between art and architecture. Best known for their playful approach to material and the reinterpretation of everyday objects and environments — from the raw, yet refined interiors of various Kith and COS stores to immersive installations at Salone del Mobile, the New Museum, Design Miami, and more — the studio’s 10th anniversary represents an opportune time to explore past work in a brand new format.
Founder: Louise Blouin