First Look: A Gigantic Lawn Just Popped Up Inside the National Building Museum
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First Look: A Gigantic Lawn Just Popped Up Inside the National Building Museum

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By Duncan Nielsen
The National Building Museum's latest block party installation is a sprawling “Lawn” that channels the spirit of summer.

The National Building Museum in Washington, DC,  is literally rolling out the green carpet for Lawn—a brand new installation that, according to their website, will "allow guests to unwind with quintessential summer activities while connecting to the design of the museum."

Set against the museum's great hall, the grassy, inclined expanse features communal lounging areas complete with hammocks that hang from the building’s 100-foot-tall ceilings. As you sway in summer’s bliss, speakers hidden in the hammocks play programmed audio from prominent American storytellers. 

Lawn officially opens on the Fourth of July, 2019.

Lawn officially opens on the Fourth of July, 2019.

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Guests can lounge in communal areas on the tiered, synthetic grass installation. 

Guests can lounge in communal areas on the tiered, synthetic grass installation. 

In the past, the National Building Museum has transformed its great hall into a hive, a snowy expanse of icebergs, a beach, and a giant maze. The museum's latest installation was designed in collaboration with the LAB at Rockwell Group.

Attendees can sip refreshments while playing typical turf games—like bocce ball, croquet, or cornhole. Designed by SynLawn, the fully recyclable faux-sod surface is a smart composite of soybeans and sugarcane. Adults and kids alike can also play a LAB-developed, augmented-reality game wherein catchable fireflies hover in front of you. 

The finished installation features hanging hammocks, a small pool, and a projection of the sky.

The finished installation features hanging hammocks, a small pool, and a projection of the sky.

Hammocks allow guests to bask in the museum's sunny great hall.

Hammocks allow guests to bask in the museum's sunny great hall.

The National Building Museum built out the experience—just one of many over the years—amidst towering marble pillars.

The National Building Museum built out the experience—just one of many over the years—amidst towering marble pillars.

For a million-dollar view, visitors can also climb a scaffolding tower to the third floor for an exceptional vantage of both the museum’s elaborate interior and the entirety of the experience.

You won’t need to bring your lawnmower, although you may hear that familiar whirring in the distance. To round out the sensory illusion, award-winning sound design studio Yessian is piping in summery sounds like chirping crickets, buzzing bees, and yes—even the hum of a mower. 

The view from the back of the grand hall shows the scale of the project. 

The view from the back of the grand hall shows the scale of the project. 

Attendees can play traditional lawn games like croquet and bocce ball.

Attendees can play traditional lawn games like croquet and bocce ball.

The development of the vast space was all caught on camera by the time-lapse video experts at EarthCam. In the past they’ve worked with Hudson Yards, the Smithsonian, and the Panama Canal extension, to name a few clients. You can watch the space in real-time here, and you'll find EarthCam's time-lapse video of the entire installation below. 

Lawn officially opened on July 4th in Washington, DC, and it will host movie screenings, yoga classes, meditations, and other events throughout the summer.

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