Studio Gang Architects’ Hive at the National Building Museum​​

Frequent ABC Stone collaborator Studio Gang, headed by Jeanne Gang, is a prominent Chicago- & NYC-based interdisciplinary A+D firm continually undertaking vital and important projects, of which this is one. For their contribution to Washington, D.C’s National Building Museum‘s Summer Block Party installation series, entitled Hive, the studio have turned the museum’s main hall into a… [that’s right, you guessed it]. Comprised of three oculus-topped chambers of stacked silver and magenta-wound paper tubes, the hives were inspired by the Hall’s infamous acoustics issues: the vast open space has nothing of off which sound might bounce so being in it is very much like standing in a field. Sound physics is a very complex discipline – for example, even temperature can effect sound dynamics in a space; – but one with which A+D’s must needs directly engage, either obliquely or directly depending on the nature of the project: this even extends to the consideration of building materials depending on whether they are more or less dense, &c. That Gang is addressing the acoustics issues often created by beautiful architecture in this unorthodox manner is less a curio than it is a glimpse of a way forward for how architects might in the future think about and address matters related to sound.

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