Icebergs Opens at the Nat’l Building Museum

“It’s a pretty cool exhibit—literally,” said James Corner, the creator of this year’s Summer Block Party exhibit at the National Building Museum. That’s because his creation is all about icebergs.

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You’ve got to hand it to him—he’s a brave man to follow on the heels of last summer’s blockbuster “Beach” exhibit, where we all got to “swim” in a sea of plastic balls. But for someone whose resume includes designing New York’s High Line, he was up for the task.

The exhibit opens this Saturday, July 2, and goes through Sept. 5. Visitors will get to see these gigantic sculptures by walking around, up and through them. In the biggest, you can climb up scaffolding above the plastic mesh that encloses the exhibit—the sea, if you will—and see just how little of each iceberg is visible above the water.

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Visit another ‘berg, and you can slide down (my personal favorite).

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For Corner, it was all about filling this gigantic space in the museum’s great hall in a way that was fun, wondrous, and also educational.

“We feel quite passionate about issues surrounding the environment—global warming, ice melt, what icebergs actually are,” he said. And for an installation taking place in the heat of summer, he added, “wouldn’t it be great to come into an environment that’s literally cool, and has a quality of coolness to it?”

Each iceberg was prefabricated in a factory offsite, making the two-week installation a bit easier. They also had to rely on suspension technology from the museum’s roof structure to suspend some icebergs above the floor, and hold the tips of others in place.

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“It’s filled with surprise, delight, pleasure, beauty, fun, and intrigue, as you move deeper and deeper into the space,” Corner said. He incorporated the blue mesh, furthermore, “to create an other-worldly environment. You feel like you’re in a completely different type of space.”

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Check out the museum’s website for information and tickets—it’s a crazy cool relief from the heat!

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