No sharks, no sunscreen: Indoor ‘beach’ lures D.C. museum-goers

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WASHINGTON — You can walk the pier, purchase a snack and settle into a lounge chair with a good book.

What you won’t find at “the Beach,” a temporary architectural installation at Washington’s National Building Museum, is water.

Instead, nearly 1 million recyclable translucent plastic balls simulate the surf at the 10,000-square-foot “beach” inside the museum’s imposing Great Hall.

Open to “swimmers,” the undulating ocean ends with a mirrored wall reflecting the exhibit’s stark white seascape.

The installation is the work of Snarkitecture, an experimental firm that “investigates the unknown within architecture — the indefinable moments created by manipulating and reinterpreting existing materials, structures and programs to spectacular effect,” according to its website.

The museum commissioned the project, which follows last summer’s “BIG Maze” installation, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

“The Beach” opened just in time for the nation’s birthday July 4 and closes September 7.

Tickets, which include admission to the museum, are $16 for non-member adults and $13 for non-member youth, students and seniors. Member tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth, students and seniors.

A time-lapse video below posted by WorkZoneCam shows the construction of “the Beach” from the beginning.

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