DC Photo Diary: National Building Museum

I’m drawn to all things creative and pink. When I caught a glimpse of The National Building Museum’s latest Summer Block Party installation Hive, I knew I wanted to go check it out. The silver and magenta, fully recyclable structure is a cross between a beehive and pipe organ. Topping out at 60 feet and built entirely from wound paper tubes, this is the tallest structure the museum has displayed thus far.

National Building Museum

Hive is the fourth “Summer Block Party” exhibit at the National Building Museum and the first designed by a woman-led team.  Architect Jeanne Gang explained the color choice was an aesthetic decision, partly inspired by the DC Women’s March. This massive structure was created in effort to encourage people to “gather and interact”. Inside the smaller, intimate chambers are drums and suspended chimes. Each chamber has unique acoustic properties to affect the instruments’ tones and reverberation.

national building museum hive exhibit

A full schedule of Hive-related events, performances, and talks are planned throughout the summer including Late Night Wednesdays. Every Wednesday evening from 6pm-9pm experience Hive after-hours with musical performances, drinks and food. Tickets for late nights and special programs are sold separately. Get tickets and scheduling info here.

Architecture of an Asylum proved to be a fascinating learning experience about American healthcare and the architectural history of the former Government Hospital for the Insane, now known as St. Elizabeth’s (a mixed-use urban development). The exhibit showcased archived photos, medical instruments, furnishings, and patient created art that told the story of this institution over time. The public health nerd in me was careful to read all the exhibit notes. Especially paying attention to the evolving theories of how we care for the mentally ill

Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 is on view until January 15, 2018

Check out these exhibits for yourself at the National Building Museum 401 F Street NW Washington, DC 20001. Click here to see more DC museum photo diaries and recommendations.


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