74°Partly Cloudy

Big News from the Building Museum: Hive is “this summer’s Great Hall design!”

by Prince Of Petworth April 18, 2017 at 2:05 pm 2 Comments

Hive oculus, courtesy Studio Gang.

First Hill Country Summer Barbecue is coming back and now this – sweet!

From the Building Museum:


Studio Gang, an architecture and urbanism practice based in Chicago, brings the latest interactive installation to the Museum’s Great Hall.

Soaring 60 feet tall and measuring 50 feet in diameter at its largest point, Hive is constructed entirely of more than 2,700 paper tubes, a common building and construction material that is recyclable, lightweight, and rapidly renewable. The tubes vary in size from several inches to 10 feet high, and will be interlocked to create weighted catenary dome shapes. The installation’s tallest dome reaches the height of the Museum’s uppermost floor and features an oculus at the top that is over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and vivid magenta interior, creating a spectacular visual contrast with the Museum’s historic nineteenth-century interior and colossal Corinthian columns.

Hive’s form recalls other built and natural structures, such as the Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, vernacular Musgum mud huts in Cameroon, and the curvature of a spider web. By utilizing the catenary shape, each Hive chamber balances structural forces and supports its own weight, while achieving a height sufficient to achieve a unique acoustic signature. The tall yet intimate forms allow visitors to experience the installation from the ground level to the Museum’s upper floor balconies, providing a variety of exciting perspectives.

Visitors are invited to experiment with the ways light, scale, shape, and sound within architecture can affect the human experience of a building. Hive’s smaller structures promote organic, intimate encounters and “play” with tubular instruments ranging from simple tubes that can played like drums to chimes suspended within the space.

Each space includes unique acoustic properties that impact the instruments’ tone, reverberation, and reflection as well as the visitors’ perceptions. The large, main chamber brings visitors together under a soaring dome that filters the natural light of the Great Hall and creates intricate light and shadow patterns in the space.

Ticket prices for Hive will be as follows and include admission to all other current National Building Museum exhibitions:

FREE: National Building Museum Members
$16: Adult
$13: Youth/Student with ID/Senior
$10: Blue Star Military Adult

Admission is first come, first served (no timed entry). Free passes will be available online for members on June 13; general admission will be available for advance purchase starting June 20. Group rates are available. Tickets for Late Nights and special programs are sold separately and are not included in general admission.”


Subscribe to our mailing list