National Building Museum Opens ‘Fun House’ July 4


By Alexis Neely

The latest interactive exhibition at the National Building Museum, Fun House, is arriving just in time for the 4th of July holiday, a part of the museum’s ongoing Summer Block Party series inside their Great Hall.

National Building Museum Executive Director and Treasurer of the BID’s Board of Directors Chase Rynd said the Summer Block Party series has become a platform for the museum to achieve several goals: “First, to create innovative experiences, highlighting our mission to inspire curiosity about the world we design and build. Secondly, to test and demonstrate how design can temporarily transform our historic building and our Great Hall, and third, to collaborate with the most creative designers working in the field,” Rynd said.

Fun House is the latest collaboration between the National Building Museum and Snarkitecture, a follow-up to 2015’s The BEACH — one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions to date. The 10,000 square foot display featured a pool of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls and welcomed over 180,000 visitors to the museum during its eight week span.

Fun House is a freestanding structure that recalls and re-imagines the traditional home, but in playful and unconventional ways. Visitors journey through a narrow front door to a hall that leads into an array of rooms, full of traditional home elements with entertaining twists—random mirrors, cracked furniture and dangling streamers. Scattered in front of the home’s front lawn are large, fabric-covered letters that spell out Fun House.  The entire vast, all-white exhibit makes for the perfect photo-op!

In celebration of Snarkitecture’s 10-year anniversary, each room of the house is reminiscent of work of the past decade. Elements of exhibits such as Dig (2011), Drift (2012), Memorial Bowing (2012) and Playhouse (2017) are all embedded. A pool and hot tub of recyclable plastic balls sit outside of the home in its backyard, a tribute to The BEACH.

Fun House will be on display from July 4-Sept. 3, 2018, in conjunction with a host of summer programs and events. On July 6, the museum will offer Daybreaker, an early morning dance movement. Throughout the remainder of July and August, the museum will host “Late Nights,” every Wednesday, a chance for visitors to enjoy special evening hours, tours, pop-up talks, food and beverages.

On select and rotating days, “Ward Days” will allow D.C. residents of each of the 8 wards free Fun House admission. The Hill Country Backyard Barbecue will operate Wednesday through Friday from 4-9 pm, Saturday from noon-9 pm and Sunday from noon-6 pm through mid-September.