April 12, 2016

Hou de Sousa Revealed as 2016 Folly Competition Winner

The Architectural League of New York and Socrates Sculpture Park announced the winning entry for Folly, an annual juried competition that calls for a durable design exploring the evolutionary relationship between architecture and sculpture. This year’s selection committee of five esteemed architects and artists includes 2012 Emerging Artist Fellow Jarrod Beck, Stella Betts of LEVENBETTS, Lauren Crahan of Freecell Architecture, Giuseppe Lignano of LOT-EK, and John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park.

The committee awarded the prize to New York City-based firm Hou de Sousa, who harnessed expertise in sustainability to design Sticks, an assembly of standard dimensional lumber interconnected to form a structural frame. In line with Socrates’ sustainable mission, Sticks incorporates existing park resources—on-site scrap wood will form the primary building materials.

To commemorate the competition’s fifth anniversary (and the park’s 30th), this year’s Folly marks a fundamental departure from previous regulations by asking entrants to design functional structures. In general, follies are decorative—they serve no utilitarian purpose, though their design suggests otherwise. Important to 18th-century European landscape design, follies historically accentuated ornamental gardens, where style overshadows substance—a deviation from “form follows function.” Sticks will enhance the park’s educational and community resources by providing material storage and creative display space. Additionally, more than 10,000 students will participate in art classes at the facility each year.

The Architectural League will publish a digital catalogue, along with designer interviews and top proposals, that will offer further insight into project and competition. Previous winning proposals include Torqueing Spheres by IK Studio, SuralArk by Austin+Mergold, tree wood byToshihiro Oki architect p.c., and Curtain by Jerome W. Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp. Hou de Sousa will begin construction at the Long Island City-based sculpture park in May, fully opening the facility to the public on July 9, 2016.

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