Book it now: The BEACH at the National Building Museum
by Zoe Dickens
Ever been stuck in the middle of a city on a hot day and wished you could be whisked away to a beautiful Caribbean beach? Well, if you happen to be in Washington, D.C. this summer, now you can thanks to a new interactive installation at the National Building Museum.
The BEACH is a huge architectural exhibition created in partnership with Snarkitecture which aims to bring the experience of heading to the seaside indoors. To achieve this a 10,000 square foot enclosure has been filled with nearly one million translucent recycled balls to create an ‘ocean’, finished with deck chairs and umbrellas sprinkled along the 50-foot wide shoreline.
Created entirely from stark white materials, with the exception of one mirrored wall which recreates the infinite expanse of the sea, the exhibition is not only visually stunning but also a place to be physically enjoyed. All visitors are encouraged to ‘swim’ among the balls, relax on the deck chairs with a good book, play paddleball or a enjoy a shore-side drink – just as they would at a real beach.
“This exclusive transformation of the Museum’s historic Great Hall will inspire a sense of wonder and imagination,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. “Although it is bound to be an entertaining retreat from the summer heat for our visitors, it also turns our understanding of the natural environment on its head and offers us the opportunity to question our own expectations of the built environment and see where pushing the boundaries can take us.”
The BEACH is part of the museum’s annual Summer Block Party events programme and follows on from the success of 2014’s BIG Maze. It will remain open until 7 September 2015, visit www.nbm.org for tickets and information.