ICEBERGS: The Newest Exhibit At The National Building Museum
The summer heat may be sweltering, but at least inside the National Building Museum visitors can feel like they are on the North Pole.
The museum just unveiled its summer installation: ICEBERGS. The exhibit, announced in March, will be open to the public from July 2 to Sept. 5.
The designer, James Corner (above) said providing some cool relief for the summer months factored into their decision, but the project has a larger inspiration.
"We feel quite passionately about issues surrounding the environment and the change at the moment," James said during a press conference. "We thought it would be instructive to have an installation that spoke to issues of global warming, to ice melt, to what icebergs actually are and to create a narrative around that."
James runs James Corner Field Operations, a New York-based urban design and landscape architecture firm.
The exhibit features several massive triangular icebergs, some rising up from the group and others, like the ones pictured above, coming down from the ceiling.
The icebergs are made with a polycarbonate shell constructed around wooden beams. The exhibit is surrounded by a blue mesh fishing net material that James said gives an "otherworldly" feel to the installation.
The bulk of the icebergs that you can see from the ground are below sea level, represented by the top of the blue net. The tallest iceberg, at 56 feet, contains interior scaffolding with a staircase that leads you to an above-water view of the icebergs (above).
Last year's summer temporary installation also had an oceanic theme. The popular beach exhibit drew more than 180,000 visitors. To help pay for the beach exhibit, the museum turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
"We are more excited than ever to take it to the next level, and I do mean that literally," museum executive director Chase Rynd said. "As you can see, ICEBERGs has taken the concept up a level in terms of vertical height."
The installation features more than just neat visuals, too. On the side of the tallest iceberg the designers installed two slides for children to enjoy, as long as they're not too slippery. Luckily for children, they can see the exhibit and the rest of the museum for a discounted rate of $13, compared to the standard $16 ticket for nonmembers.
When the kids get tired of going down the slide, they can cool off with some shaved ice. Inside another one of the big icebergs the designers installed a small kitchen with an ice shaving machine. The flavor of the day yesterday was strawberry red bean kakigori.
For attendees wanting to chill out, the museum also features some iceberg-shaped bean bag chairs.