Last year, the National Building Museum encouraged visitors to metaphorically strip down when its Great Hall was transformed into “The Beach,” an enormous ball pit designed by Brooklyn-based design collective Snarkitecture. Before that, it featured a life-size maze and ornately designed miniature golf courses. This summer, curious guests might want to bundle up: today, the museum announced plans to recreate a glacial ice field designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team behind New York’s Highline and Santa Monica, Calif.’s Tongva Park. ICEBERGS is scheduled to open July 2 and run through Sept. 5.
While the museum won’t actually cart in water and ice for the exhibition, the plans visually represent life above and below the water line, which will be suspended 20 feet in the air. The tallest piece of the “iceberg” created from construction materials will reach the museum’s third floor, allowing visitors to observe the installation from all angles. Icy snacks, however, will be available for consumption when the museum is open.
Corner believes his design has an added cultural relevance as the environment constantly changes. “Such a world is both beautiful and ominous given our current epoch of climate change, ice-melt, and rising seas. The installation creates an ambient field of texture, movement, and interaction, as in an unfolding landscape of multiples, distinct from a static, single object,” he said in a museum-issued statement earlier today.
But perhaps National Building Museum Executive Director Chase W. Rynd summarized the appeal of the coming installation best of all, when he described ICEBERGS as “an extreme counterpoint to the sweltering heat of the Washington, D.C. summer.” Noticeably absent from the renderings: The Titanic.
See some renderings of ICEBERGS below.