Families toting their young ones to New York’s Socrates Sculpture Park will now be welcomed by “Sticks,” a bespoke lumber structure designed by local studio Hou de Sousa, founded by principals Jia Min Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa. Officially opened on July 13, the architectural venue was selected by the fifth annual Folly Competition, collaboratively held by the Long Island City outdoor museum and public park and the Architectural League of New York, and will serve as the hub for the site’s summer Sculpture Workshops. The Saturday classes will explore different sculptural mediums with children ages 5-13 taught by a different instructor each time. These classes will go until Sept. 24.
The theme for this year’s design competition was function. The architects answered this prompt by repurposing scrap materials previously used in the park (for artist-in-residency works) to create a minimalist edifice with a cantilevered roof, that rests on uneven walls. Pushing the theme even farther, horizontal wooden slats are fixed onto the vertical frames to create an interconnected grid that will provide display and storage space for future art projects. The top, protruding lumber binds—onto which additional materials can be fastened—help to protect visitors from both the sun’s rays and unassuming summer storms.
A digital catalogue curated by the Architectural League of New York will also accompany "Sticks." In it, visitors will learn more about the project and its process, which will include interviews with Hou de Sousa's lead designers, and more information on the other proposals submitted to the competition.
The four-acre site in Queens, which was established by American sculptor Mark di Suvero when he decided to turn the formerly abandoned landfill into an exhibition space dedicated to sculpture, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With this commemoration, the park is expecting an extra amount of visitors, for which the sturdy construction is well-suited for.