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Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY


Socrates Sculpture Park is excited to break ground for “The Cubes,” a new 2,640 square-foot, two-story building that will become a permanent home for Socrates Sculpture Park, designed by the innovative architecture studio LOT-EK. Multi-functional by design, the space will provide new facilities for the park’s administrative offices, arts education and community work, creating opportunities for year-round public programming. Constructed from up cycled shipping containers, the building’s origin, materials, and design invokes Socrates Sculpture Park’s founding principles of creative reclamation, adaptable re-use, and honoring the neighborhood’s industrial roots.

The new building will have two main functions:

1) to serve as administrative offices for the organization allowing us to physically be in the park we operate and program
2) to provide an indoor space for our curatorial, education, and community programming during the fall and winter months of the school year.

Aesthetically and philosophically, Cubes is a highly innovative building. The building design embodies a 21st-century imperative of reuse, adaptability and sustainability. It was selected in 2016 as one of ten public capital projects to receive The Public Design Commission Design Award.

With completion due in early 2024, this new home secures the Park’s future, so generations to come can enjoy the Park and take advantage of our programs.

Renderings of The Cubes at Socrates Sculpture Park, courtesy LOT-EK

LOT-EK’s architectural concept has expanded and evolved the original design for the Whitney commission by adding twelve additional shipping containers for a total of eighteen, now stacked on two levels to form a singular structure. Continuous diagonal bands of glass along the sides and roof of the structure provide natural light and transparency, offering building visitors a view of the landscape and skyline outside, and offering park visitors a view of activities inside. These linear chevron windows curate those views while reserving ample wall space within the building for indoor exhibitions. Their striking V-shapes mirror the structure of the steel artist shed located nearby.

Located at the main entrance of Socrates Sculpture Park at Vernon Boulevard, “The Cubes” will house the park’s administration and educational programs and will be the first permanent structure in the Park’s thirty-year history. The new facility will include 2,640 square feet of interior space with a 960-square-foot flexible multi-purpose area for indoor education programming, and housing classes of up to 70 children and teens. It will also accommodate the indoor presentation of videos, drawings, photographs, and process source materials by artists on view in the park; plus 1,200 square feet of a permanent office and administration space that will secure the park’s long-term sustainability. Also included will be a 480-square-foot shaded deck area for outdoor classes and programming. The roof will be outfitted with solar panels to provide renewable energy and to perform as a teaching tool for sustainable practices.

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