50-Foot Ark Floating Into Socrates Sculpture Park in Climate Change Warning

By Jeanmarie Evelly on April 4, 2014 8:57am 

 Model for "SuralArk" by Austin + Mergold, winner of the third annual Folly competition, a program organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York.
Model for "SuralArk" by Austin + Mergold, winner of the third annual Folly competition, a program organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York.
View Full Caption
Austin + Mergold

ASTORIA — Noah has come to the East River.

This summer, visitors to Socrates Sculpture Park will be able to stroll under a sculpture of a 50-foot-long overturned ship — a new installation coming to the outdoor museum that is meant to evoke the area's nautical past and the dangers of "the rising tides."

"SuralArk," by Philadelphia firm Austin + Mergold, beat out 170 other submissions to win the 2014 Folly competition, an annual contest hosted by Socrates and The Architectural League of New York, which challenges emerging architects to design a large-scale public installation.

The piece will resemble the upside-down hull of a ship elevated 16 feet above the ground to "provide shelter for respite and contemplation for thousands of park visitors this spring and summer," according to a statement.

"As visitors explore its overturned hull at the waterfront, they will be reminded of the park's industrial heritage and that New York City, with its functional waterways, is indeed a city of water," Socrates director John Hatfield said.

The structure will be made of lumber and vinyl siding, according to Austin + Mergold. A foam bench will rest inside for visitors to sit on.

"The upturned ark echoes the park’s past while considering the future, as a possible escape from rising tides that submerged the park in October 2012 during Super Storm Sandy," a description on the Architectural League's site says.

The installation will go on view at the park on May 11 and remain until Aug. 3.

This is the third year for the park's Folly competition. Last year's winner was "Tree Wood,"  an open geometrical wooden structure built around a grove of trees, with a chandelier suspended in its center.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement