The Hive by Studio Gang

Studio Gang's stacked-tube Hive installation opens in Washington DC

Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects has created a trio of cavernous chambers from stacked silver and magenta paper tubes inside the National Building Museum in Washington DC.

The Hive by Studio Gang

The installation called Hive features over 2,700 tubes of paper in varying sizes, locked together to create pavilion-like temporary structures.

Studio Gang designed the domes to provide more intimate spaces inside the National Building Museum's soaring Great Hall, for hosting activities from yoga sessions to music concerts.

The Hive by Studio Gang

"When you enter the Great Hall you almost feel like you're in an outside space because of the distance sound travels before it is reflected back and made audible," said Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang.

"We've designed a series of chambers shaped by sound that are ideally suited for intimate conversations and gatherings as well as performances and acoustic experimentation," she continued.

"Using wound paper tubes, a common building material with unique sonic properties, and interlocking them to form a catenary dome, we create a hive for these activities, bringing people together to explore and engage the senses."

The Hive by Studio Gang

The domes are built in different sizes to offer a range of acoustic properties. The tallest, which rises 60 feet (approximately 18 metres), also features an oculus at the top offering glimpses of the hall's 19th-century details.

It is flanked by a pair of smaller chambers furnished with tubular instruments, like chimes, which visitors can play.

The Hive by Studio Gang

Studio Gang, which also has offices in New York, chose paper because it is recyclable, lightweight, and renewable.

The tubes' silver exteriors and magenta insides are intended to provide a contrast to the eight massive Corinthian columns that support balconies inside the museum's central hall.

Open until 4 September 2017, Hive is the latest summer installation to fill the Great Hall as part of the museum's annual series of events and exhibitions, known as the Summer Block Party.

The Hive by Studio Gang

Last summer, James Corner Field Operations installed over 30 "icebergs" to evoke a glacial landscape.

In 2015, Snarkitecture created a beach-like atmosphere in the space with a sea of translucent balls, following Bjarke Ingels Group's wooden labyrinth the year before.

This timelapse movie, courtesy of Work zone Cam, shows the construction of the installation

Studio Gang came 95th in the Architects ranking for Dezeen's Hot List last year. The firm has recently unveiled plans for a sculptural glass tower adjacent to New York's High Line and a tiered residential tower for St Louis in Missouri.

Photography is by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of Studio Gang.