In DC during the summer, there are plenty of interesting and unique things to do. I love taking advantage of the various museums, so I was excited when I learned about the new exhibit at the National Building Museum called “The Hive,” created by art group Studio Gang. When it opened in early July, my friends and I made the journey down to Judiciary Square to see the new installation.
The Building Museum is a beautiful building, with it’s roman columns and high ceilings. “The Hive” was in the middle of the main floor. Basically, it’s a bunch of gray cylinders with hot pink insides stacked on top of each other to resemble a beehive. There are three hives of various sizes and shapes. Walking in, it looks pretty impressive, and just like the exhibits I usually love–large, immersive, and unique.
My friends and I walked around to go inside of the hives. However, what we didn’t realize was that you had to pay $13 to go inside, as the National Building Museum isn’t a Smithsonian. So we ended up just walking around it, but by looking through the cracks you can get almost the full experience, and just as good pictures. Walking up all the stairs and looking over the balcony was almost a better view than what I imagined being inside was like.
One of the major appeals of “The Hive” is that in each different sized hive you can hear sound differently and see light in various ways. But you can hear that difference from outside just as well!
I also wish that there were more colors. The gray and pink looks fine, but I think it could’ve had a bit more dimension if the Studio Gang had decided to get a little more creative. I left feeling like there was a bit of wasted potential.
I think there’s no real reason to pay $13 to go into “The Hive.” You can get just as a fun experience by walking around it. That’s not to say that the idea isn’t cool–it is. But I think it was missing a special something that would’ve made it worth the money. Overall, I would give “The Hive” a rating of 6/10, because even though it was a cool idea it fell a little flat.
PHOTO BY ADELAIDE KAISER