One of our favorite architecture firms, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is at it again with a fun new bubble-shaped temporary pavilion for the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. Most famous for their work on the New York City High Line, this innovative firm is always ready to push the boundaries in a fresh, exciting, and sustainable way. The Hirshhorn Bubble is an inflatable event space that will occupy the middle of the circular museum, oozing out of the top and side of the main structure like a giant balloon.
A thin translucent membrane will fill the center of the Gordon Bunshaft building. Its sky blue tone will be darkest at the top and it will become more and more transparent toward the bottom floors so visitors can enjoy the sensation of looking up and practically being outside. Cable rigs compressing various areas of the bubble as it climbs up and over the museum ceiling give it a unique doughy look in stark contrast to the hard angular building.
The main floor of the Hirshhorn’s Bunshaft building includes 14,000 square feet of outdoor and courtyard space. The bubble will be erected during chillier seasons, allowing visitors to enjoy the open spaces year round with fun cushy seats scattered throughout, mimicking the softness of the walls. A giant water tube around the bottom of the bubble weighs the massive inflatable structure down and also acts as a bouncy bench.
The temporary inflatable space will also feature a make-shift auditorium that will seat up to 1,000 people for art films, events, lectures, and even site-specific installations. The Hirshhorn Bubble project has been in the works for almost two years and is expected to take form in the winter of 2012.