Home & Design

Show Me the Way A visit to the National Building Museum this summer might require a bit more path finding than usual—if you dare to enter the BIG Maze, that is. The Danish architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group partnered with the museum to construct its first large-scale building installation in 26 years: a maze that spans 3,721 square feet and reaches up to 18 feet tall. When the Baltic birch plywood structure opens to the public in the museum’s Great Hall on July 4th, visitors of all ages will be able to explore its complex passageways at ground level—or enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the action from the second- and third-floor balconies.

Towering walls conceal the inner workings of the cube-shaped maze, which measures 61 feet wide on each side. Inside, the walls decrease in height as travelers near the center, revealing the logic behind the design. “The concept is simple. As you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted,” says architect Bjarke Ingels of his design. “What if we invert this scenario and create a maze that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth?” At the center of the maze, a “grand reveal” will provide a 360-degree understanding of the pathway in and out.

In addition to the BIG Maze, a number of other special events will take place as part of the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party. Highlights include special tours of the maze as it’s being constructed on June 27, June 30 and July 1; late-night hours; and pop-up cookouts on the museum’s West Lawn, catered by Hill Country Barbecue, every Thursday to Saturday until Labor Day. The BIG Maze remains open until September 1. For more information, visit nbm.org

Lighting the Way LORD OF THE RINGS
The Giuko pendant series from Leucos features sleek aluminum rings with round, blown-glass diffusers in a satin finish. Pictured here, the Itre Giuko 3 Light Reading Lamp can be hung vertically or horizontally; optional rings can create a unique look. Available through Dominion Electric Supply Company. dominionelectric.com; leucos.com

Tracy Glover’s new Blackburn Cluster Pendant boasts customizable, hand-blown glass globes, available in four shapes and eight patterns. The base comes in a range of finishes.

The Rockstar collection by Corbett Lighting features pendants (pictured), sconces and a flush-mount fixture. Handcrafted from metal, agate stone and gold leaf, they are available through Annapolis Lighting. annapolislighting.com;

Zaneen’s Quartet Floor Lamp is made of polished aluminum and stainless steel for a clean, geometric look. In stainless, black or white (pictured); also available as a pendant or table lamp.

Designed by Barry Dixon for his collection for Atlanta-based furniture maker Peyton Avrett, the sculptural Non Crystal Chandelier is made of brushed steel with satin brass details. Shown here with six arms, the fixture’s size can be customized.

The opulent Schonbek Chantant ceiling pendant emphasizes the beauty of light produced by soft strands of Spectra and Heritage clear, handcut crystals. A polished stainless-steel metal base completes the look. The fixture is available through Dulles Electric in a wide range of hanging and semi-flush mount fixtures. dulleselectric.com;

From Lion Storm, NEST 301’s exclusive private-label furniture collection, the Glass Cascade Pendant is custom-crafted in glass and chrome with a clear finish. Four lights and an oval chrome frame with long strands of hanging glass impart an opulent vibe. Available exclusively at NEST 301 in North Bethesda.

The floor and table lamps in David Weeks Studio’s Fenta collection have a custom-cast cement base that lends them an industrial sensibility. A wooden pin holds the brass armature as it curves gently up. The collection marks the first time Weeks has used brass as the primary metal for his designs.

Marcel Wanders designed the whimsical Inkborn table lamp for Moooi’s 2014 collection. Winding metal tendrils on the tree-like fixture evoke the look of an intricate candelabra while miniature shades conceal bulbs at the end of each tendril. A cylindrical marble base holds the light in place. Also available as a chandelier.

Designed and handcrafted by Gutierrez Studios, the Taylor Lamp series of one-of-a-kind fixtures includes the one pictured above, with a base combining sandblasted ash and hand-wrought bronze details; it’s topped with a silk shade. Currently available in the Baltimore showroom.

The convenient Rae Mirror Kit from Tech Lighting makes morning ablutions easy. Two vertical lights run the length of the rectangular mirror on each side to illuminate the reflection. Available in chrome and satin nickel, the kit can be purchased in a one-, two- or three-mirror set.

The Great Outdoors LIGHT & AIRY
An airy silhouette characterizes Gloster’s Vista Collection of coated aluminum seating, created out of curved horizontal bands that let in the light. Available in two finishes, the collection is paired with water-resistant base cushions covered in a range of durable Italian polypropylene fabrics. gloster.com

Outdoor furniture company Brown Jordan has teamed with EcoSmart Fires to produce a line of stylish outdoor fire elements that are fueled by clean-burning e-NRG bioethanol and therefore produce no soot, ashes or smoke. Pictured here, the Cloud fire element boasts a design that is rounded and simple, yet elegant. Users can regulate the height of the flame that each fireplace emits. brownjordanfires.com

Santa Barbara Umbrella is introducing a new line of retro-chic umbrellas that evokes an earlier era. Each umbrella is custom-crafted and two-tiered with fringe-lined, scalloped edges. Available in playful orange, yellow and turquoise hues that will enliven any backyard. sbumbrella.com

Link Outdoor’s 2014 Fabric Collection offers wide appeal with 12 new designs that run the gamut from muted patterns and neutral colors to graphic shapes in eye-catching hues. All of the fabrics are made of solution-dyed acrylic, which is durable and ideal for outdoor use. linkoutdoor.com

Extend your swimming season with the Inter Pool Cover Team’s Laguna High Enclosure pool dome, which captures heat and warms the water in an environmentally friendly way. Available in a range of colors and polycarbonate fillings, the dome also screens harmful UV radiation and reduces the rate of pool water evaporation. poolandspaenclosuresusa.com

Had enough of mowing the lawn in sweltering summer heat? Try LawnBott, a robotic lawnmower from Kyodo America that runs on electricity, producing zero emissions as it mows quickly and quietly, avoiding objects in its path. Once finished—or sensing rain—it returns to its docking station for recharging. Programmable via smartphone, LawnBott is available in red or green and comes in five different models. lawnbott.com

Monitor the temperature of your food from 150 feet away with the iGrill2, a thermometer that works via a phone application, available with the purchase of the device. The iGrill has an LED display, magnetic mounting, two heavy-duty probes, four probe ports and a 150-hour battery life. idevicesinc.com

Block up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat and glare with Phifer’s new Quik Shade Screen. Ideal for porches, balconies, RV awnings and playground equipment, the screen fits easily into framed openings— no screws or drilling required. phifer.com

Making use of aquaponics—in which plants are cultivated in water—the AquaDesign Living Fountain Series from Aquaponic Source is both a water feature and a sustainable garden. The new series features two lines: Ambiance and Tranquility. Shown here, Ambiance is the largest of the fountains. It’s made of wicker and is sold in silver and chocolate hues. Tranquility is smaller and comes in chocolate, charcoal and terracotta.  theaquaponicsource.com

Techo-Bloc’s Borealis carries the look of wood with a new outdoor surface that has the appearance of wood planks but is actually made of modular, five-inch-wide concrete slabs. The collection is available in light-hued Sauvignon Oak and Hazelnut Brandy and in dark Smoked Pine; colors can be mixed for interest. techo-bloc.com 

HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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