James Corner Field Operations is transforming the National Building Museum's Great Hall into a glacial landscape of ICEBERGS for the museum's annual Summer Block Party installation, following two wildly successful years with Snarkitecture's monochromatic BEACH and BIG's gigantic maze. Today, James Corner revealed their initial concept for the collaborative project.
ICEBERGS emphasizes the themes of landscape representation, physical experience, geometry and construction, according to the architects. Once the installation opens on July 2, people will get to wander through an immersive underwater-world of geometric icebergs, with the tallest "bergy bit" towering at 56 feet to the third-story balcony of the museum.
The 12,540 square-foot installation will be comprised of more than 30 prismatic triangular pentahedrons and octahedrons made from reusable translucent polycarbonate panels, with some hanging from the ceiling to appear as if they were floating. A "water line" suspended at 20 feet high will bisect the vertical space and offer panoramic views.
Visitors can ascend to viewing areas inside the tallest iceberg, walk through an undersea bridge, or lounge on triangular bean-bag chairs on the "ocean floor"-level caves and grottos while cooling off with some shaved-ice snacks. The Museum will also host an educational program exploring topics that integrate landscape architecture, design, and the environment.
"Such a world is both beautiful and ominous given our current epoch of climate change, ice-melt, and rising seas," architect James Corner stated. "The installation creates an ambient field of texture, movement, and interaction, as in an unfolding landscape of multiples, distinct from a static, single object."
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