Photography by Kevin Allen
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has created a large-scale maze within the historic Great Hall at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The 3,600-square-foot maple plywood installation takes its inspiration from ancient labyrinths and the garden and hedge mazes of 17th- and 18th-century Europe.
“As you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted,” Bjarke Ingels said in a statement. “What if we invert this scenario and create a maze that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth?”
Viewed from the outside, the maze’s cube-like form hides the grand finale behind 18-foot-tall walls. From the inside, however, the walls slowly descend toward the center, ending with a 360-degree understanding of the path in and how to get out. Additionally, the structure’s design allows views into the maze from second- and third-floor balconies.
The maze also serves as a preview of an upcoming exhibit, called amBIGuity, which explores BIG’s architectural design process. It will open at the National Building Museum in early 2015.