Indoor Beach Opens At National Building Museum

An indoor beach opened at the National Building Museum earlier this month. The exhibit included a 50-foot shoreline and a 10,000-square-foot “ocean” ball pit. The indoor beach even includes beach umbrellas, chairs, and a snack bar.

The National Building Museum indoor beach exhibit is located inside the Great Hall at the facility, according to The Washington Post. The concept for the indoor display was designed by Snarkitecture, an architecture firm. The designers wanted to build a simplistic indoor version of the great American vacation escape.

“You can jump off the pier, have a snack, hang out in a chair and read a book,” said Snarkitecture co-founder Alex Mustonen. “Basically what you would do at the beach.”

The indoor beach exhibit was created in just two weeks and has already garnered thousands of visitors of all ages. The beach ball pit was comprised of approximately 750,000 white, anti-microbial balls. The National Building Museum is open seven days a week and it carries an admission fee of $16 per person. On Wednesday evening an adults only “swim” at the indoor beach is held.

“In some ways, it is what it is — it’s a place that’s full of balls that you can swim around and jump around in,” said Mustonen, as he floated near a circular island in the middle of his ocean. “But we’re really asking people to sort of consider it more as a place for contemplation and relaxation. You can’t really walk through them [the balls] you can’t really stand in them.

The Snarkitecture designer also stated that children and adults “experience” architecture in different ways and the indoor beach explores that concept.

“For instance, a table is not a table” to a child, Mustonen said. “It’s an overhead structure that you walk under. Or a ramp becomes a playscape. The way that kids are more readily interested, or intuitively engage with and sort of misuse their surroundings, are things that we’re interested in inviting a wider audience to do.”

It is not known if the indoor beach is also the world’s largest ball pit, but the summer attraction at the National Building Museum has attracted a multitude of fans and sparked a viral hashtag on Twitter – #thebeachDC.

Would you like to go play at the National Building Museum indoor beach?

[Image via: Twitter]