Snarkitecture Creates an Indoor Beach at National Building Museum


This summer, to the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. can immerse themselves in a monochromatic indoor beach to escape the summer heat outside. Designed by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture, the BEACH is a 10,000 square-foot installation that opened to the public in the Museum’s Great Hall atrium this past weekend on — ever so appropriately — July 4.

The Museum commissioned Snarkitecture co-founders Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham to design the installation for the annual “Summer Block Party,” which features a variety of public programming, exhibitions, and events. At 10,000 square feet, the BEACH includes beach chairs and umbrellas along the 50-foot “shoreline” and an “ocean” ball-pit of nearly 1 million translucent recyclable balls that visitors can splash in — all sporting Snarkitecture’s all-white aesthetic. The “ocean” faces a mirrored wall that creates an illusion of a vast expanse. Visitors can “swim” in the ball pit or play in beach-friendly activities. They can also relax on the “shoreline” and grab a drink at the snack bar, or dangle their feet in the “ocean” off the pier.

For Mustonen, the tactile, experiential nature of the installation was one of its most satisfying facets: “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,” he said in a statement.

— Anna Kats (@coldwarcasual)

Image courtesy the National Building Museum.