Now in its second year, the Folly Competition – a two-month residency project sponsored by the Architectural League of New York and Socrates Sculpture Park that explores the tradition of 18th and 19th century folly gardens – has announced a winner. Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood, and Jared Diganci of Toshihiro Oki Architects took home top honors for their design, tree wood, which was selected out of 150 submitted proposals, and their folly will soon be realized within the grounds of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Follies are traditional garden structures which have no discernible purpose except to draw the eye to a specific view. The competition, judged by a panel of architects, designers and artists, seeks to explore the overlapping intersection of architecture and sculpture that draws on the techniques of the two disciplines.
Toshihiro Oki Architects’ winning design, a simple geometric framed structure designed out of wooden beams, allows the folly to exist within its environment without disturbing the natural flow of nature. The structure features a grandiose chandelier that will come to life and sing through the trees when the wind flows adding a musical element to the park that visitors can enjoy as they pass by the structure.
Last year’s design, “Curtain”, by architects Jerome W Haferd and K Brandt Knapp, was a 20-foot wide structure composed of a series of frames made up of slender wood posts and a triangulated roof canopy. Planes within the structure were suspended with white plastic chain to create “rooms” for viewers to occupy.
The winning design will be brought to life in the Socrates Sculpture Park and the designers will receive a $5,000 grant to support the build of the project. Four finalists in the competition were also selected including Pier by Keefe Butler, Elenchus by Julien Leyssene, Curtain Spolia by Georg Rafailidis & Stephanie Davidson, Guesthouse Belvédère by Marc Maurer and Nicole Maurer-Lemmens.