Making a point! For this year’s Block Party experience, the National Building Museum has constructed an immersive environment of glacial ice fields, as a way of getting the program’s millions of visitors to talk about climate change.
After the playful pleasures of mini golf, a giant maze, and 2015’s epic beach-themed ball pit, this summer’s Block Party experience at the National Building Museum is all about high concepts and low temperatures. Designed by James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the in-demand firm responsible for the Presidio in San Francisco and New York City’s High Line, Icebergs transforms the museum’s Great Hall with soaring bergs (one is so high it reaches the third-floor balcony). Visitors are invited to explore 12,000-square-foot crags from below, above, and inside the caves and whiz down slides; shaved ice treats will be available for famished spelunkers.
“We first introduced this idea [to JCFO] with only a certain level of confidence, knowing how in-demand James Corner and his team are,” says National Building Museum president Chase Rynd. “We knew partnering with James was a coup for us and Washington.” But it only took three minutes for Corner to agree. As for the outcome, Rynd acknowledges the twist in tradition. “We are about architecture and the build environment,” he says. “Icebergs is counterintuitive: It’s not about the build environment, it’s about the planet… We’ll get people talking!” July 2 to September 5 at National Building Museum, 202-387-2151