Playful Installation Welcomes Visitors to Swim in an Ocean of 1 Million Plastic Balls

The National Building Museum, which hosted a BIG Maze in its Great Hall last year, is now the site of an indoor beach. Their newest exhibition is aptly titled The BEACH and features an immersive installation by experimental design firm Snarkitecture. The 10,000-square-foot space is filled with an “ocean” of one million translucent polyethylene balls and a carpeted deck that's complete with lounge chairs.

Although the installation presents a beach-like setting, it uses creative liberties to interpret the idea of an oceanside environment. The entire piece is clad in white and its 50-foot wide “shoreline” includes neutral-colored umbrellas and seating, while the two shipping containers' worth of balls engulf swimmers in a ghostly quagmire. The entire piece culminates in an opposite-facing mirrored wall which creates the illusion of a seemingly infinite sea.

Visitors are welcome to “swim” in the ocean or dangle their feet off the pier. The BEACH also encourages people to relax by reading a good book or enjoying a beverage at the pop-up snack bar. If you're local to Washington, DC, you can beat the heat and experience the installation until September 7, 2015.

Photography by Lauren Joseph
Snarkitecture: Website
National Building Museum: Website
via [Washingtonian]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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