Hive, the newest exhibit at the National Building Museum, is creating a buzz with three oversized beehives for visitors to explore.
The interactive art installation, which opens Thursday, is this year’s addition to the National Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party. In the past, the annual exhibits have brought iceberg installations last year and a sophisticated all-white ball pit to the Great Hall of the museum in 2015.
The installation consists of three hives designed with 2,551 silver, shiny paper tubes that range in size from a few inches to 10 feet tall. The massive exhibit was created without any adhesive – the tubes were instead slotted together and stacked to create the structure.
Chase Rynd, the executive director of the museum, said Hive is the tallest structure the museum has ever hosted, standing at 60 feet tall. The interactive exhibit, which has been a growing trend at museums across the world, will draw crowds, he said.
“This is a buzz-worthy installation,” Rynd said. “Hive takes us to dazzling new heights this summer.”
Hive was designed by Studio Gang, a Chicago and New York based urban design architecture group. The team is lead by founder Jeanne Gang. After six months of planning and creating mockups with toilet paper, Hive finally came to life with 2,100 hours of work by builders in three weeks time, Gang said.
Gang said the metallic exterior was meant to contrast the Great Hall’s historic Corinthian columns and the bright magenta interior of each tube was inspired by the hats worn by thousands at the Women’s March on Washington in January.
An array of instruments are installed within the structure so that visitors can interact with the exhibit and experience how sound permeates through the Hive. Sunlight also affects the exhibit as it shines when the light bounces off each metallic tube.
Gang said that the design was influenced by nature, drawing comparisons between the spiral of the oculus and pine cones.
“The tubes are like tree trunks that imitate acoustics within a forest,” Gang added.
The museum will host a series of events in the exhibit like concerts on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and musical performances with food and drinks from Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Hive will open to the public all summer from July 6 to September 4. Tickets are $13 for students and $16 for adults.