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The BEACH by Snarkitecture - The National Building Museum, Washington D.C.

23rd Jul 2015

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The National Building Museum has once again created a one-of-a-kind destination with an interactive architectural installation that brings the summer beach experience to downtown Washington D.C.

Spanning across the majestic Great Hall, the Museum commissioned Snarkitecture to design the BEACH, which will cover 10,000 square feet and include an “ocean of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. The BEACH will be contained within an enclosure and built out of construction materials such as scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh, all clad in stark white, consistent with Snarkitecture's aesthetic. Monochromatic beach chairs and umbrellas will sprinkle the 50-foot wide “shoreline,” and the “ocean” will culminate in a mirrored wall that creates a seemingly infinite reflected expanse. Visitors are welcome to “swim” in
the ocean, or can spend an afternoon at the “shore’s” edge reading a good book, play beach-related activities such as paddleball, grab a refreshing drink at the snack bar, or dangle their feet in the ocean off the pier. 

Snarkitecture distinguishes itself by operating in the territory between art and architecture, emphasizing the transformation of the familiar into the extraordinary and the National Building Museum has been a devoted supporter of our aspirations,” said Alex Mustonen, cofounder of Snarkitecture. “We see the commission as an exciting opportunity to create an architectural installation that reimagines the qualities and possibilities of material, encourages exploration and interaction with one’s surroundings, and offers an unexpected and memorable landscape for visitors to relax and socialise within.”

The BEACH is Snarkitecture’s most ambitious public installation to date, both in scale and agenda, and follows on the huge success of last summer’s BIG Maze, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

Snarkitecture on the Domus Nova International Guide

National Building Museum, 401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States;



Photography © Noah Kalina