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July 4 - September 7, 2015

The BEACH is now closed.


The National Building Museum presents a one-of-a-kind destination for visitors, an interactive architectural installation that brings the quintessential summer experience of going to the beach to downtown Washington, D.C. Spanning across the Museum’s Great Hall, the BEACH, created in partnership with Snarkitecture, will cover 10,000 square feet and include an “ocean” of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls.

The BEACH is contained within an enclosure and built out of construction materials such as scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh, all clad in stark white. Monochromatic beach chairs and umbrellas sprinkle the 50-foot wide “shoreline,” and the “ocean” culminates in a mirrored wall that creates a seemingly infinite reflected expanse. Visitors are welcome to “swim” in the ocean, or can spend an afternoon at the “shore’s” edge reading a good book, play beach-related activities such as paddleball, grab a refreshing drink at the snack bar, or dangle their feet in the ocean off the pier.

Our snack concession was operated through a partnership with Union Kitchen, a D.C.-based food incubator.

The BEACH is part of the Museum’s annual Summer Block Party, a slate of programming, exhibitions, and events for all ages. 


BEACH Time-lapse Video

Presented by EarthCam
View the BEACH in real time

BEACH Photography by Noah Kalina 

View our Flickr site

VICE Magazine's The Creators Project 

Learn more about the creation of the BEACH
Snarkitecture's Million Ball Beach | The Process 


Presenting Sponsor


Construction Partners

 Clark Construction  DAVIS Construction  Universal Builders Supply

In-kind Support

Benjamin Moore & Co. Ltd.

Flooring Solutions Inc.

Hargrove, Inc.

Patuxent Engineering Group, LLC

Saxon Collaborative Construction

Union Kitchen

Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc.

Additional Support

Ditto Residential LLC

Mr. Robert M. Wulff and Ms. Deby Wulff

Mr. Perry Cofield

Mr. Howard Friedenberg and Mrs. Shirlee Friedenberg

Indiegogo crowdfunding contributors

Gilbane Building Company

Time-Lapse Photography Provided By