Buzz over giant Hive

The soaring Hive exhibit (above) at the National Building Museum in Washington, the United States, was set to open yesterday as part of the museum's annual interactive art installation series inside its Great Hall.

Standing over 18m tall, the exhibit's three interconnected chambers are made up of some 2,700 lightweight cardboard tubes that vary in size from just several centimetres to more than 3m.

The cylinders are stacked on top of one another in an interlocking fashion using simple slots instead of relying entirely on glue.

Ms Jeanne Gang, the architect who designed Hive, said the structure is similar to the vaulted shapes of a cathedral which are designed to hold their own weight.

She told Reuters during a media preview of the exhibit yesterday that Hive is also the tallest structure built inside the museum.

Visitors can view Hive - a giant central chamber bookended by two much smaller ones - from the lofty vantage point of the museum's fourth-floor inner balcony.

But they will also be invited to explore the dark, intimate interiors of Hive at ground level, where they can interact with multiple acoustic elements like chimes and small drums.

Hive is open to the public until Sept 4.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'Buzz over giant Hive'. Print Edition | Subscribe