Snark Park, a 6,000-square-foot venue at the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, opens today. Designed by Snarkitectrure, a multidisciplined collaborative design practice, it’s an entertainment-cum-art space that functions as an immersive gallery with rotating installations.
The inaugural exhibition, “Lost and Found,” takes visitors on a meandering walk through a Greek colonnade — or forest of columns, depending on your perspective.
“As you move into the room, you notice some columns have aberrations in them,” said Daniel Arsham, who is a principal of Snarkitecture, along with Alex Mustonen and Benjamin Porto. He’s right. One white pillar has a beaded curtain over what could be a front door — for a very small baby. Others have sections cut out of them and covered with mirrored tiles, foam and fur. “We’re taking people’s expectations of architecture and art and breaking it down a bit.”
The slightly off-kilter wood segues to another experience, this one as dark as the other was light. Four oversize black pillows fill the narrow room. A two-way mirror allows those in the dark room to observe the people in the light. Speaking of light, Arsham said Snarkitecture is relying on natural light. “There are lights housed within the columns,” he said. “People visiting during the day will have one experience in the daytime and another in the evening.”
The first hint that Snark Park is something strange is the large glass tank outside the exhibit with hundreds of small stuffed animals, the Snarky mascot with claw machines that you’d find at an arcade hovering above.
In the foyer there’s Kith Treats ice cream and cereal specials, as well as the Treats apparel collections released throughout the year. Snarkitecture has designed the interiors of Kith stores since Kith’s reopening in SoHo in 2014.
In addition to Kith apparel and merchandise, Snark Park apparel, merchandise and a limited amount of Snarkitecture objects are available. Of course, apparel, and not ice cream, is displayed in a glass freezer cases and mirrored and lit frames on the wall. “It will be highly curated design objects and books, and every couple of months we’ll be releasing limited-edition sculptural objects,” Arsham said.
Typically, exhibitions will be in place for three or four months, but the inaugural one will remain until September. “The next exhibition is very different. It’s about using the thinking of children and the way they interact when they play, and games.
“We’ve done installations before, but we’ve never been the ones to operate them,” Arsham said. “This is not a museum. We anticipate a broad mix of visitors and tourists. Our mission has always been bringing creative thinking and art work to a wider audience.”
Arsham added that Snarkitecture is known for “creating simple, quiet installations that don’t immediately reveal their purpose.”