Summer = Mini Golf at the National Building Museum!

Finally! Summer’s here, our porches and decks are spring-cleaned and open for business, and the kids are restless. In our family, that means putt putt. LOTS of it. So the guys were over the moon last week when I took them down to play the mini links at the National Building Museum, which is in its second summer of showcasing holes designed by architects and builders. Everything, of course, is related to structures in DC.

My guys were my official guinea pigs at the press preview:

Chalmers, left, and Henry Sergent

Chalmers, left, and Henry Sergent

We tried the Blue Course (there are two nine-hole courses, Blue and Green), which started out with “Mount Vernon Triangulation.” The lights were cool, but distracting! Probably the point so the hole doesn’t end up being too easy.

Designer: E/L Studio; Sponsors: Mount Vernon Triangle CID and Steuart Investment Co.; Builder: Think Make Build, FLOR, Independent Custom Metalworks

Designer: E/L Studio; Sponsors: Mount Vernon Triangle CID and Steuart Investment Co.; Builder: Think Make Build, FLOR, Independent Custom Metalworks

We collectively groaned trying to get our balls in the hole of this reproduction of the Potomac River watershed. A gorgeous sculpture, yes, but all that smooth wood made it literally impossible to play the hole. Chal gave it his best try:

"Tomorrow's Water." Designer and Builder: a team from the Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center

“Tomorrow’s Water.” Designer and Builder: a team from the Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center

This one was delightfully fun, and blessedly easy coming off of the watershed disaster (hmm maybe that’s what we are meant to feel in real life about our watershed, so we’ll be inspired to help fix it?! Clever.)

"Imagination Powers the Future" Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Hargrove, Inc.

“Imagination Powers the Future” Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Hargrove, Inc.

Here, you hit the ball up the rainbow and into a rotating windmill, which conveniently drops the ball right at the hole. Here’s Chal reacting to his hole-in-one:

Hargrove gets the award here for pure fun and whimsy!

Hargrove gets the award here for pure fun and whimsy!

The ninth hole in this course, I think, was one of the best, because the course gets determined by the players. Each day a new question gets posted, such as “Do you think Earth will someday get hit by an asteroid?” Your group agrees on an answer—yes or no—and then puts a stick on the appropriate side of the course. You can see what our (optimistic) answer was here!

hen-no

“PARticipatory TERRAIN” Designer: Landscape Architecture Bureau; Sponsor: The JBG Companies; Builder: Harkins Builders

We will definitely be going back this summer, especially when it gets too gross and muggy to do anything outside.

After years of putt-putting at the beach, this is SUCH a nice break from the typical whiz-bang viking and jungle fare. Here are a few more examples of these ultra-cool holes, by photographer Kevin Allen:

"Capitol City Crops" Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Rippeteau Architects, PC

“Capitol City Crops” Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Rippeteau Architects, PC

 

"The Evolution of the Office" Designer: Determined by Design; Sponsor: American Society of Interior Designers and Teknion; Builder: DAVIS Construction

“The Evolution of the Office” Designer: Determined by Design; Sponsor: American Society of Interior Designers and Teknion; Builder: DAVIS Construction. Note that you can hit the ball to go down a ramp in front of the laptops!

 

"Homeroom" Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects

“Homeroom” Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects

 

"The Job Site" Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Clark Construction Group, LLC

“The Job Site” Sponsor, Designer and Builder: Clark Construction Group, LLC

 

"The 19th Crater" Designer and Builder: Design Foundry; Sponsors: Atmosphere Lighting; Occasions Caterers; and Perfect Settings

“The 19th Crater” Designer and Builder: Design Foundry; Sponsors: Atmosphere Lighting; Occasions Caterers; and Perfect Settings

There are several evenings this summer when you can play there at night, where there’ll be live music and food (yum!) provided by Hill Country.

Fun for all ages—even the mini golfers of the future. Happy Summer, everyone!

baby

 

 

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