“Raise/Raze,” by the New York–based architectural studio Hou de Sousa is the inaugural installation for the DuPont Underground, in Washington, D.C.—a former streetcar tunnel opened in 1949 beneath the city's DuPont Circle park and little used since the early 1960s. It has since been transformed into a contemporary art space that intends to display and promote cultural, artistic, and architectural projects.
Designed by the firm’s principals, Jia Min Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa, the first temporary installation that the space will house is made out of the leftover, 650,000 plastic balls from this past summer’s Snarkitecture-designed “The Beach” installation at the National Building Museum across town. Hou de Sousa's design was selected from among 92 proposals submitted following a call for entries earlier this year.
The new installation features the opaque balls assembled in a series of configurations that vary in form and function. Some pieces echo stalactites so long they touch the ground. Others are simple, rectangular partitions that can be reconfigured and attached with fabric fastener patches. It also includes a fort-like semicircle large enough for visitors to stand inside. All were hand-assembled by designers and volunteers using Super Glue and tools to manipulate the plastic.
The installation will be on display through June 1, 2016.