The National Building Museum Has Been Converted into a Giant Ball Pit

Noah Kalina
Noah Kalina / Noah Kalina

If you long for the days of ball pits, you don't have to sneak into a McDonald's to get your fix. Brooklyn-based studio Snarkitecture has filled the Great Hall of Washington D.C.'s National Building Museum with almost a million plastic balls.

The project is called The Beach and is meant to emulate an actual seaside experience with lounge chairs, umbrellas and a snack bar. A 10,000-square-foot enclosure holds all the balls, meant to represent the ocean. The bottom of the pit is lined with a spongiform material that mimics the feel of sand. Guests are welcome to swim, play or relax in the "water." 

"We see the commission as an exciting opportunity to create an architectural installation that reimagines the qualities and possibilities of material, encourages exploration and interaction with one's surroundings, and offers an unexpected and memorable landscape for visitors to relax and socialize within," said Snarkitecture cofounder Alex Mustonen.

The event was paid in part by a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. More than 150 donors contributed a total of $12,155. 

Guests will be able to play in this childlike exhibit until September. It's also open certain evenings for nighttime "swims." 

This is not the first installation of its kind in the National Building Museum. Just last year the museum held a giant wooden maze in the same room.