James Corner Field Operations will create a seascape of "Icebergs" for the National Building Museum's annual Summer Block Party exhibition in Washington, D.C. The New York-based urban design and landscape architecture firm—known also for its work on New York's High Line in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Piet Oudolf—will suspend more than 30 prismatic, polycarbonate shards within the National Building Museum's Great Hall to create an otherworldly underwater atmosphere of glacial ice fields in response to the real world conditions of climate change and rising sea levels.
The icebergs will range in height from 16 feet to 56 feet, floating in blue netting along a waterline datum set at 20 feet above ground level, with the tallest "bergy bit" (an actual technical term used to classify icebergs by size) reaching to the third-floor level balconies of the National Building Museum. Washington, D.C., residents will be invited to escape the region's severe summer humidity in a refreshingly cool indoor space—complete with lounges and shaved-ice snacks—beneath triangular pentahedrons and octahedrons constructed out of prefabricated transulcent polycarbonate panels linked together with common scaffolding materials.
The Icebergs exhibit is the third in the National Building Museum's Summer Block Party installation series, following last year's giant ball pit, "The Beach," by Snarkitecture and indoor plywood labyrinth "BIG Maze" by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in 2014. Following the success of the BIG Maze, the National Building Museum also hosted a retrospective on the Danish-American firm's work entitled "Hot to Cold" in the winter of 2015. The National Building Museum announced it had selected James Corner Field Operations for the 2016 Summer Block Party installation last fall.