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US National Building Museum to contain 'hive' of paper

20 April 2017

This year’s summer installation at the US National Building Museum is called Hive and is built entirely of 2,700 wound paper tubes.

Designed by Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang, the installation is 18m tall, with tubes that vary in height from several inches to 3m. They interlock to create three domed chambers.

The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and magenta interior, in contrast with the museum’s nineteenth-century interior and Corinthian columns.

Studio Gang says Hive’s form recalls other structures such as Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, vernacular Musgum mud huts in Cameroon and the curvature of a spider’s web.

The main chamber is topped by a dome that filters the natural light at the top of the great hall to create light and shadow patterns. 

Within the hall, visitors are invited to explore how the project can modify and reflect sound, with a schedule of Hive-related concerts, performances, and talks planned.

Studio Gang has recently designed two projects in New York, a tower “sculpted by the angles of the sun” and an expansion of the Natural History Museum.

Images courtesy of Studio Gang

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