Icebergs Ahead!

Over the summer, Renee and I went to check out the summer installation at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. Every summer the museum hosts, in its cavernous Great Hall, a new interactive installation.

The projects are usually in collaborations with smaller design firms, architects, designers, artists, or issue-based organizations. In the years prior the museum has rebuilt stonehenge, invented creative labyrinths and indoor gardens, and even a full beach filled not with water – but white balls like a ball pit that even adults could enjoy!

This year’s installed ICEBERGS, was designed by the James Corner Filed Operations. The entire installation was built from re-usable construction materials and recreates a waterscape of floating icebergs!

The entire installation was designed to be a holistic view of the massive ice structures, especially from the perspective that most humans do not get to experience….

….underneath the waterline!

The blue netting creating the waterline encapsulated the entire installation was set about 20 feet high! The haze of blue definitely gave the affect of being in a foreign world!

Exploring ‘under the sea’ navigating around floating ICEBERGS!

Visitors could even relax on lumps of ‘ice’ (white beanbag chairs) underneath the ‘water’ line.


Many of the icebergs had various arctic facts printed on the side and raised awareness about global warming: the ever increasing problems of icebergs melting and breaking away.

Few of us can go inside icebergs in real life but in this installation we could! The tallest and largest icebergs had stairs for us to climb to the very top and see above the ‘waterline’.


There was of course, heavy discussion on if there was or was not room on that floating door for both

Jack and Rose…

… it was an installation about icebergs, Titanic themed conversations were impossible to avoid…

…as we climbed to the top of the iceberg!

“I’m king of the world!”

The ‘tops’ of icebergs breaking the waterline!

There was even a slide to go down the iceberg for the kids!

(or if you were a kid-sized adult!)



ICEBERGS was at the National Building Museum until the first week of September. Get more information about the delightfully amusing and creatively collaborative National Building Museum summer projects here!