Bjarke Ingels, architecture's favorite enfant terrible, makes some of the most whimsical projects in the world. Tasked with designing the Amagerforbraending waste incinerator for Copenhagen, he turned in plans for plant that doubled as a ski slope. The Bjarke Ingels Group–designed Superkilen—part urban park, part global fairgrounds—brought design objects from all over the world to the most ethnically mixed neighborhood in Denmark.
Now, BIG is building a maze in Washington, D.C. How's that for a folly?
This summer, the National Building Museum will host the "BIG Maze", a 61-foot-by-61-foot labyrinth. The maze, which will be erected in Baltic birch plywood, summons to mind the hedge mazes of 18th-century Europe. But BIG has put in a twist: The 18-foot-high walls descend in height as one proceeds through the maze toward the center, meaning that the vantage point from the center offers perfect knowledge of how the maze works.
Of course you want to go play around in a maze this summer. If there's one thing that could improve a Danish maze, it's Texas barbecue—and the National Building Museum, which is not to be outdone, will be serving it up all summer long. The BIG Maze is part of the museum's Summer Block Party series, which includes weekend pop-up barbecue from Hill Country on the museum's lawn.