National Building Museum transforms hall into beach complete with a shoreline in Washington DC, US

8 July 2015 (Last Updated July 8th, 2015 18:30)

The National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington DC, US has transformed its grand hall into a 'beach' featuring a sea of translucent balls with the shoreline comprising of lounge chairs and umbrellas.

NBM Beach

The National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington DC, US has transformed its grand hall into a 'beach' featuring a sea of translucent balls with the shoreline comprising of lounge chairs and umbrellas.

Designed in partnership with US-based Snarkitecture, the interactive installation spans across 10,000ft².

Launched as a part of NBM's 'Summer Block Party' in July, the beach will be open to the public until 7 September.

One million recyclable balls cover the Great Hall at NBM which rises 159ft and is supported with eight colossal Corinthian columns.

"We see the commission as an exciting opportunity to create an architectural installation that reimagines the qualities and possibilities of material."

The designers set up an enclosure inside the hall, which is made of scaffolding, wooden panels and perforated mesh filled with the balls.

One side of the mirrored, all-white enclosure features a 50ft long shoreline that has beach chairs, umbrellas and a snack bar.

A statement from NBM said: "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."

The installation has been carpeted with a spongiform material, which offers a feeling similar to sand.

Snarkitecture co-founder Alex Mustonen said: "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 socialize within."


Image: Design of the 'beach' at NBM in Washington DC. Photo: courtesy of National Building Museum.