July 4-September 2, 2019
The Museum partnered with the LAB at Rockwell Group to present the 2019 Summer Block Party installation. Lawn is an immersive installation taking up the entirety of the Museum’s Great Hall, and offers interactive experiences for all ages.
Lawn allows guests to unwind with quintessential summer activities while connecting to the design of the Museum. It features a vast, sloping green space built on a scaffolding superstructure. The green expanse is set on a graceful incline and dotted with clusters of communal lounging areas. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and lawn games. At the top of the lawn is a scaffolding tower that reaches the height of the Museum’s third floor, offering never-before-seen views of the Great Hall, column capitals, and sculptural busts lining the roof.
Rockwell Group collaborated with Yessian Music, an award winning sound design studio to envelop the lawn in a soundscape of distilled audio elements that evoke time spent outdoors on a warm summer day: crickets chirping, bees buzzing, a lawnmower whirring in the distance.
The centerpiece of the lounging areas are interactive hammocks suspended from the 100-foot-tall ceiling grid. The hammocks contain hidden speakers programmed with audio from prominent American storytellers, sharing summertime memories.
The LAB has also developed an augmented reality game for kids and adults to chase, collect, and release fireflies in the National Building Museum space.
Lawn hammocks contain hidden speakers programmed with audio from prominent American storytellers, sharing summertime memories. These never-before-heard stories highlight shared themes of community and placemaking, further immersing visitors into the feeling of summer. Featured storytellers include:
- David Rockwell, Founder and President of Rockwell Group
- Bette Midler, Award-winning actress and singer, and founder of New York Restoration Project
- Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder of Shake Shack
- Sophia Anne Caruso, Actress
- Whoopi Goldberg, Award-winning actress, comedian, author, and moderator of ABC’s The View
- Judah Friedlander, Stand-up comedian (America Is the Greatest Country in the United States on Netflix), actor, and author
- Beanie Feldstein, Actress
- Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and director of research and development at the Museum of Modern Art
- Edward Lee, Chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, KY and Culinary Director for Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland and Penn Quarter; and winner of a 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Writing
- Annaleigh Ashford, Tony Award-winning actress
- Phylicia Rashad, Actor and director
- Norman Lear, WWII Combat Veteran, award-winning writer and producer of television and film, and founder of People For the American Way
- Susan Stamberg, Award-winning journalist and special correspondent for NPR
- Amanda MacKaye, Musician and Fort Reno Concert Organizer
- Jose Andres, Chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup and founder of World Central Kitchen
- Deborah Berke, Founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners and Dean of Yale School of Architecture
- Seth Hurwitz, Owner of I.M.P, the 9:30 Club, and The Anthem, and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion and Lincoln Theatre
- Venus Williams, Tennis champion, entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist and founder and CEO of V Starr Interiors and EleVen by Venus Williams
- Joel Grey, Actor, singer, dancer, director, and photographer
Do and Discover
Learn how people play in and use designed spaces with fun hands-on activities on and off Lawn. Explore materials through all your senses, listen to stories, or create your own greenspace designs. These programs are free, drop in, and great for early learners.
How’d You Build That?
Explore the restricted spaces of Lawn. Put on a hard hat and go “underground” to learn how engineers and contractors took the Lawn’s undulating surface, observation tower, and entrance bridges from concept to a built, immersive experience.
Why’d You Build That?
In this behind-the-scenes tour, explore how communities and designers (re)imagine, build in/on, and invigorate spaces to create a sense of place, sometimes where none existed. Consider the way a large architectural structure like Lawn or a simple basketball hoop placed in a field, as seen in the exhibition HOOPS, can bring people together and create an experience of place.
D.C. residents visit Lawn for free with proof of residency. Meet with your councilmembers and enjoy drop in activities for all ages.
Experience Lawn at night during weekly Late Nights, featuring food and beverage for purchase and tunes from DJ Henrietta Stacks.
Curl up on a Rockwell Group-designed custom blanket and watch a movie every Thursday in August.
Museum members get early access to Lawn before the installation opens to the public. Join today.
Join Beth A. Wolfe for an all-ages yoga class on Lawn.
Construction Time Lapse by EarthCam
Lawn is co-presented with:
Additional sponsors include:
With additional support from:
Time lapse provided by EarthCam
Photo credits for Visitor Guide:
Photograph. 1329 Pennsylvania Avenue, Amy Davis, c. 2013
Toy. Erector Set, The A.C. Gilbert Co., c. 1959
Model. Anacostia Fountain, Raymond Kaskey, c. 2010
Photograph. City park, Portland, Oregon, Bill Bamberger, c. 2007
Pink flamingo lawn ornament, Union Products, c. 1960s