Soaring 'Hive' exhibit blends intimate details into its giant scale

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A soaring exhibit of stacked cardboard tubes shaped into three hive-like interconnected structures will make its debut on Thursday at a Washington, D.C., museum as part of its annual interactive art installation series.

The “Hive” exhibit, designed by architect Jeanne Gang, will take over the Great Hall of the National Building Museum, standing more than 60 feet (18 meters) tall. It is open to the public through Sept. 4.

Its three domed chambers are made from 2,700 lightweight cardboard cylinders ranging from several inches to 10 feet (3 meters) in height, painted silver and magenta and stacked in an interlocking fashion.

Gang told Reuters that “Hive” is similar to the vaulted structures of cathedrals, designed to hold their own weight.

“We thought this is such a big space, we wanted to go high,” she said. “We wanted to make something that had some monumentality but at the same time, inside, a certain intimacy.”

“Hive” can be explored from the museum’s fourth floor balcony as well as on the ground level, where visitors can enter the dark, intimate interiors and interact with the work’s multiple acoustic elements such as chimes and small drums.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Bill Trott)

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