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Chilling with the Icebergs

Offering respite from sweltering summer temperatures in Washington D.C, ‘Icebergs’ is a chilly interactive simulation of a glacial field designed by landscape architects. It is made from reusable construction materials including scaffolding and translucent polycarbonate panelling used to construct greenhouses.

The design come from James Corner, founder of the landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations. ‘In July and August in Washington, D.C, it’s super hot outside, it’s humid, it’s sweltering. Wouldn’t it be great to come into an environment that’s literally cool?’ he says.

Visitors entering through the walls of blue mesh and walk around the icebergs as if underwater. Corner explains that the nearly 75% of icebergs are below sea level and this exhibit recreates the fantastical underwater landscape so rarely seen. There are even iceberg beanbag chairs for people to chill out on while taking in the surreal landscape.

Measuring 17m in height, the largest iceberg contains a stair leading to a balcony, which offers views above the iceberg landscape. And for children, there is a double slide within the giant form. You can watch a time lapse video of if ‘Icebergs’ being constructed here.

Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum says, ‘We hope that James Corner Field Operations’ striking design will provoke both serious public conversation about the complex relationship between design and landscape, while also eliciting a wonder and play among visitors of all ages.’

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. is known for some pretty cool interactive exhibits featuring a surprising use of materials. Prior to Icebergs, they featured an indoor beach made with an ‘ocean’ of made up of one million plastic ping pong balls. You can see several images above and see more here.