“Hive,” shown in a rendering, will fill the National Building Museum’s Great Hall with massive, domed chambers.

Cachet: Bee Line

A soaring summer installation examines sound and light

You know it’s summer at the National Building Museum when a monumental installation takes over the Great Hall. “Hive,” the 2017 exhibit opening July 4, takes the creativity to new heights. Designed by Studio Gang, an architecture and urban design firm based in New York and Chicago, this soaring, shiny silver-and-magenta structure resembles a beehive with three interconnected, domed chambers—the largest of which reaches 60 feet in height and 10 feet in diameter. The structure is composed of more than 2,700 interlocked, recyclable, wound paper tubes varying from several inches to 10 feet in length.

Visitors can enter the domes to take in the intricate play of light that has been created within them—but that’s not all. Each chamber has unique acoustic properties and is equipped with tubular instruments that visitors are encouraged to play.

Part of the museum’s annual Summer Block Party series, “Hive” will be accompanied by concerts, tours, talks and more. The installation is open from July 4 to September 4. nbm.org.