Lost in the Museum: Bjarke Ingels' maze will make you look up and around

The maze actually gets easier as you go along.

July 08, 2014 |
Photo courtesy National Building Museum

For the past two years, the National Building Museum has put up a temporary mini-golf course for visitors to play in. But this year, they're taking museum-goers to a different place: a maze.

The maze was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and is a precursor to an exhibit (set for January 2015) showcasing some of the firm's projects. To navigate the maze, people must look up. Cathy Frankel, vice president for exhibitions and collections at the museum, told the Washington Post that the museum's “ubergoal is that people walk out of here looking at their built world differently. We think this is sort of on the microlevel of that—forcing people to look up [as they try to find their way through the maze] will make them look at our building differently.”

The maze actually gets easier as you go along, with the walls starting at 18 feet high and getting shorter towards the end. Frankel estimates that it takes about 40 minutes to navigate the 3,600-sf maze.

Placed in the museum's Great Hall, the maze's location may actually make it more difficult to complete. The hall is more or less symmetrical, and the walls are fairly similar, so only those sharp enough to figure out if they're facing north or south will be able to determine their location in the maze from the features of the larger room. 


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