Ant Farm

Freedomland, 1973

A year after the success of the House of the Century, the real estate developer Kenneth Schnitzer commissioned Ant Farm to design a shopping center aimed at Houston’s teenage population. The collective proposed Freedomland, a multi-purpose facility, placed in a curved and irregular “lunar landscape” under an inflatable roof. Behind a monumental entrance equipped with a children’s pavilion, Freedomland is comprised of four circular zones: a leisure and relaxation center with cinemas, restaurants and club, a shopping area with stores, a small television studio; a space dedicated to the arts (music, theater, art and the media). The Biggest Snake in the World, an inflatable structure the group created in 1970, links the last three areas. There is a real kinship with certain propositions of radical Italian architecture, notably with Luna Park II by Andrea Branzi (1966) who advocated the hybridization of the shopping center with the theme park. Freedomland is however less critical and it also aims to be more “constructive”. Unfortunately the project was not selected by the client.

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