If The Beach's worldwide tour is any indication, Snarkitecture's second go-around at the National Building Museum is destined for success. Following up on the ball-pit from 2015, the New York–based firm's new summer pavilion at the Washington, D.C.–based institution is a retrospective exhibition that examines and recreates the studio's portfolio from the past decade in a single installation.
"Fun House," which opens to the public tomorrow, showcases 42 of the firm's projects in a partially enclosed single-family house. The front yard features seating spelling out the installation's name, a variation on the firm's "A Memorial Bowing" (2012) installation in Miami. Instead of a front door, the house's main entrance is an irregular cut through the exterior constructed with EPS architectural foam, inspired by "Dig" (2011), exhibited first at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. The translucent balls from "The Beach" appear twice: filling a bathtub in the house's bathroom ("Beach Chair," 2017) and again in the backyard pool.
Although some of the works, like those mentioned above, have been adapted for this space, many are unchanged from their original installation. "Playhouse" (2017), an exercise in forced perspective, was originally placed between two buildings in Columbus, Ind., for Exhibit Columbus, and has been reinstalled at the entrance to the backyard. Similarly, "Marble Run" (2015) was first housed in the Delano South Beach hotel's lobby during Art Basel Miami Beach, and is now the centerpiece in Fun House's playroom.
Although Bjarke Ingels Group followed its 2014 summer installation with a larger survey show at the National Building Museum the following year, this is the first of the museum's summer installations to combine both an exhibition of work as well as an installation. To those unfamiliar with Snarkitecture's portfolio, it may appear as the name suggests—a fun house filled with room-by-room experiences, unified by Snarkitecture's signature all-white aesthetic. To those who have seen at least a few of these pieces, it's a chance to review a larger swathe of the firm's portfolio in context. Either way, expect a line at the door.