The Architectural League of New York has announced an open international contest for a £4,500 public seating installation at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens
The latest edition of the park’s annual competition invites architects and designers to draw up concepts for movable seating structures suitable for up to 25 people.
The project aims to deliver an outdoor seating system that is both weather-resistant and capable of lasting at least three exhibition seasons between 2018 and 2020. Proposals must also be capable of being assembled and disassembled easily and quickly by on-site staff.
According to the brief: ‘Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League invite emerging designers and architects to help shape the physical setting in which the park fulfils its role as a venue for art, creative expression, public programming, and education.
‘The seating should be easily movable by park visitors and staff, but solid enough that visitors are discouraged from removing it from the park. The seating should also have a unique and cohesive identity that distinguishes it from the surrounding art installations or typical New York Parks Department designs.’
The Socrates Sculpture Park was founded in 1986 and occupies the site of a former landfill overlooking the East River. The museum and outdoor exhibition space are situated in Long Island City, which was founded as an independent metropolis in 1870 but later absorbed into New York City’s Queens neighbourhood.
Featuring several bridges and tunnels linking Queens to Manhattan Island, the area was a major centre for heavy industry during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Today the post-industrial district is home to many art galleries, institutions, and studio spaces, including the Noguchi Museum, MoMA PS1 and the Fisher Landau Centre. Three years ago the nearby mural space, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Centre, was controversially demolished to make way for a new condominium complex.
Seating concepts must also be adaptable for multiple locations throughout the park, including areas near to the entrances and an education area.
Previous winners of the park’s annual commission include Circle Shade by Eva Jensen Design in 2017, Sticks by Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa in 2016, Torqueing Spheres by Simon Kim of IK Studio in 2016, and SuralArk by Jason Timberlake Austin and Aleksandr Mergold in 2015.
This years’ jury includes artist Allan Wexler, Socrates Sculpture Park director John Hatfield, Chee Pearlman curator and creator at TED Conferences, Claire Weisz of WXY architects, Elaine Molinar of Snøhetta architects and designer Leon Ransmeier.
Applications should include a cover page, 150-word summary, project proposals, budget, 1,000-word description and renderings or sketches of the concept. Team member CVs featuring up to seven images of previous works are also required.
The winning team will receive a £4,500 budget to cover all delivery costs for the four structures, including design, materials, delivery, labour and initial installation.
The deadline for submissions is at 11:59pm local time (EST) on 8 January.
How to apply
The Architectural League of New York
594 Broadway, Suite 607
New York, NY 10012
Tel: +1 212 753 1722