Getting lost in a museum is easy, and aimlessly wandering from wing to wing is a nice, relaxing, not-at-all-claustrophobic way to spend an afternoon. Alternatively you could venture into The BIG Maze at DC’s National Building Museum, an on-site installation filled with winding paths, dead-ends, and a cool reveal at the end of the road.
Architectural golden boy Bjarke Ingels designed the 6sqm structure with an exterior that rises an intimidating 5.4m above ground level in the Great Hall (which is itself a massive marvel — look at those arches, columns, and soaring sky-high ceiling!).
From the outside, there’s no possible way to see what awaits within the perimeter, but a funny thing happens when the threshold is crossed. As the path gets closer to the centre, the walls gradually get lower and lower, and then: Voila! You’ve made it to the very middle, you can see everything rise up around you, and (apparently) the exit route is clear.
Ingels was inspired by everything ye olde timey hedge and corn mazes to from ancient labyrinths. Whether or not you’ll find spiritual peace on your journey is TBD.
Try it out for yourself through September 1 (or follow along with real-time pics taken every half-hour here). And if you’re worried about getting stuck forever, know that DCist managed to make it through in a quick six minutes. God speed. [Archinect]