Margarita Calero Architect
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Can an art installation be the new living room of the Astoria community at Socrates Sculpture park and a memorial of its History?

“Living SSP Room» Folly at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens, NY, is a space that transcends the extravagant garden ornament. It will be a deconstructed living room for the park. Given the location at the entrance, the Folly opens up to create an ephemeral lobby that reminds us of the collaborative origins of the park. The park is a special courtyard of Queens neighborhood community. To reinforce that idea, the project emulates a domestic space in a singular way: two mirror walls in the corner reflect the park and a concrete couch faces it so they work as screens for the activity of the Park. Some pieces of pavement also extend to the main entrance diluting the boundaries of the Folly itself within the park and gently transforming the entrance in a welcoming vestibule. The Living Room is the most important space in a house where family gets together and where memories are kept. Therefore, this Folly resembles it with the intention to build a memorial for the history of the park, a place to join and to remember.

The folly will work in a similar way as Le Corbusier’s Bestegui apartment in Paris, where the architect decides what to bring into the project. It will also give a twist to the alteration of Dan Graham´s Suburban House where he exposes a home by reflecting the environment it faces onto the street.

A true museum.

Interior and exterior are no longer clear cut divided. Blurred lines. Boundaries shift. The Folly frames the occupants with few elements. The imaginary house creates a cozy corner to contemplate and remember, between reality and illusion. Reality needs fictional acts to be credible. This house of mirrors works with its reflection as a true museum. The true museum is the one that contains everything.

As Le Corbusier says: The house is a device to see the World.

A true museum is the Socrates Sculpture Park where you can take part in the process and learn from it.

A memorial.

The Athena Foundation Idea.

We wanted to treat this space as a domestic setting which will in a way work as a memorial to what was the creation of Socrates Sculpture Park back in the 80´s. A community park that brought the neighborhood together. Hence the idea of creating a living room where one usually gathers memories, tells stories, remembers the past and invites guests.

Since Mark Di Suvero decided to install his studio  and the Athena Foundation on this side of the river the landscape started to change.

  • FINALIST Folly 2014 Design Competition – The Architectural League of New York


LOCATION: Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York

YEAR: 2014


PROGRAM: Art Installation


María F. Carrascal Pérez & Alberto Manrique Serna