Sara Johnson

Today Studio Gang founding principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, led a press tour of Hive, her firm's upcoming installation at the National Building Museum. (The exhibition was scheduled to open tomorrow, but the museum announced this afternoon that the opening has been pushed to July 6 for "final touches.")

Hive is the latest large-scale summer installation in the Washington, D.C., museum's Great Hall, following pieces by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Snarkitecture, and James Corner Field Operations. Since 2014, the museum has commissioned design firms to create massive interactive installations inside the atrium to coincide with the Summer Block Party performances and events.

Ground-floor plan
Studio Gang Ground-floor plan
Studio Gang Section

"We noticed inside the Great Hall space, that the sound in there is almost like being outside in the middle of a field," Gang told ARCHITECT in April when the design was released. "You can say something if you are standing 10 feet away from someone and you can’t almost hear it, it’s that big of a space. So we wanted to bring that down and create a space where the acoustic properties would be noticeably different."

The three chambers of Hive are constructed with more than 2,700 concrete forming tubes, stacked and joined together, and colored with layers of silver and magenta paper. Gang explained at the press preview that the pink and magenta at the Women's March earlier this year inspired the tube's interior color. When Hive is finished, the tallest chamber will top out at 60 feet tall, and Gang said that it's the tallest structure ever built in the building museum to date. Hive will also be the biggest Studio Gang project in D.C.

"Hive" opens at the National Building Museum on July 6 and runs through Sept. 4, 2017.

*Correction: An earlier version of this article described Hive's building material as concrete tubes, and it should have said concrete forming tubes.