This sum­mer’s ball-pit beach is . . .

The Washington Post - - ON THE TOWN - BY EMILY CODIK emily.codik@wash­

Last year, it was ice­bergs. This year, the Na­tional Build­ing Mu­seum’s sum­mer in­stal­la­tion will be hives.

As in, in­sect hives. Not the skin rash.

The in­stal­la­tion — lit­er­ally called “Hive” — will fea­ture more than 2,700 pa­per tubes, each rang­ing in size from a few inches to 10 feet tall. There will be three in­ter­con­nected forms, with pink in­te­ri­ors and shiny sil­ver ex­te­ri­ors, and the largest will be about 60 feet tall.

De­signed by Stu­dio Gang, an ur­ban de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture firm in New York and Chicago, the domes won’t just be for In­sta­gram­ming. The smaller chambers will also have chimes and drum­like tubes that are meant to en­cour­age in­ter­ac­tion.

“We’ve de­signed a se­ries of chambers shaped by sound that are ide­ally suited for in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions and gath­er­ings as well as per­for­mances and acous­tic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion,” Stu­dio Gang found­ing prin­ci­pal Jeanne Gang said in a news re­lease. “Us­ing wound pa­per tubes, a com­mon build­ing ma­te­rial with unique sonic prop­er­ties, and in­ter­lock­ing them to form a cate­nary dome, we cre­ate a hive for th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The mu­seum also will host af­ter-hours events on Wed­nes­day evenings, with food and drink from Hill Coun­try and live mu­sic.

The in­stal­la­tion forms part of the mu­seum’s Sum­mer Block Party se­ries, which in past years has in­cluded a gi­ant maze, a ball-pit “beach” and ice­bergs.

“The Beach” was per­haps the most pop­u­lar of the bunch, at least in terms of so­cial-me­dia fan­fare, one of the In­sta­gram­fa­mous ex­hi­bi­tions in Wash­ing­ton that have gone on to in­clude “Won­der” at the Ren­wick Gallery and, of course, the still-crowded Yayoi Kusama ex­hi­bi­tion at the Hir­sh­horn Mu­seum.

“Hive” opens to the pub­lic July 4 and runs through Sept. 4. Tick­ets cost $16 for adults.


A ren­der­ing of “Hive,” the hash­tag-ready, in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion of the sum­mer at the Na­tional Build­ing Mu­seum.

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