July 4-September 2, 2019

The Museum is partnering with the LAB at Rockwell Group to present the 2019 Summer Block Party installation. Lawn will be an immersive installation taking up the entirety of the Museum’s Great Hall, and offer 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. Visitors purchase tickets at a reception area that features a building-scale mural of the sky, containing a dimensional title treatment set against a pixelated cloudscape made up of classic summertime iconography.

Rendering by the LAB at Rockwell Group.

Guests are directed towards a pathway running alongside the scaffolding, leading to a gently sloping trail that will bring visitors to the base of the lawn.

Visitors are met with a green expanse, set on a graceful incline and dotted with clusters of communal lounging areas. The centerpiece of these lounging areas are interactive hammocks suspended from the 100-foot-tall ceiling grid. The hammocks contain hidden speakers programmed with pre-recorded audio from prominent American storytellers, sharing summertime memories. 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.

Lawn itself will be programmed and activated throughout the day with summer entertainment and activities, including movie nights, yoga, and meditation.

By creating custom software, the LAB has also developed an Augmented Reality game for kids and adults to chase and collect fireflies throughout the lawn, allowing them to be released back into the space at the end.


Tickets for Lawn will include admission to all other current National Building Museum exhibitions.

Free passes will be available online for members on June 18; general admission will be available for advance purchase starting June 25. A limited quantity of tickets will be available on site each day. August tickets will be released July 15.

Tickets for Late Nights and special programs are sold separately and are not included in general admission.

Programs and Events

Lawn is complemented by a full slate of programs and events throughout the summer. Look at specific dates on our calendar or the Lawn ticketing page (coming soon). Events include:

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.

Ward Days
D.C. residents visit Lawn for free with proof of residency. Meet with your councilmembers and enjoy drop in activities for all ages.

Late Nights
Experience Lawn at night during weekly Late Nights, featuring food and beverage for purchase and tunes from DJ Henrietta Stacks.

Movie Nights, to be announced
Curl up on a Rockwell Group-designed custom blanket and watch a movie.

Members-Only Hours
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.


Lawn, presented with:

With additional support from:

Chemetal, DPR Construction, Design Within Reach, Gouda, Inc., Loll, SenovvA, Inc., Shaw Contract, Yessian Music

Construction Camera by EarthCam