Back in January, Dupont Underground—the group that's leasing the abandoned streetcar tunnels underneath Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle—launched an open design competition to create an installation using the leftover plastic balls from last summer's Snarkitecture-designed "The Beach" exhibition at the National Building Museum. The competition received 92 proposals for remaking the unused space.
Today, the Dupont Underground announced that the winner of this design competition, dubbed "Re-Ball!", is "Raise/Raze" by New York studio Hou de Sousa. The winning design transforms the hundreds of thousands of plastic balls into tens of thousands of blocks that visitors can rearrange inside the space. The competition entry explains the concept: "Raise/Raze is like sand in a massive sandbox, something akin to a life sized Lego set, or a real-world version of the popular video game Minecraft, which allows users to alter their surroundings with ease." The design divides the 14,000 feet of underground space into five zones of ball-blocks: Text, Cave, Grove, Shell Valley, and Government Buildings.
"We were impressed with how their design translated a material concept into a social concept," said Re-ball! director Craig Cook, in a press release. "Visitors will activate the installation and implicitly engage in a democratic process: some build, some destroy, some work together, some work alone. It is a piece that is especially relevant to Washington."
Reservations will be required for admission to the "ReBall!: Raise/Raze" installation, which is scheduled to open April 30 and run through June 1. The installation's Indiegogo campaign has currently raised only 12 percent of the $100,000 goal, with 11 days left in the campaign.