Thursday 10 Jul 2014
Drawing inspiration from gardens, hedge mazes and ancient labyrinths of 17th - 18th century Europe, as well as aspects of modern American corn mazes, Bjarke Ingels Group have created the BIG Maze, located in the Great Hall at Washington's National Building Museum. In a space of such impressive grandeur, the BIG Maze provides a contrasting contemporary aesthetic.
Externally, the maze is hidden behind 20 ft high walls, the cube-like form hiding the great maze within. Internally, the walls slowly gravitate towards the centre where the route in and out are eventually revealed. Visitors are afforded the chance to physically interact with cutting edge design and invited into the thought processes of the brains behind the project.
For Ingels, the concept was simple: when you travel deeper into a maze, the path you travel naturally becomes more convoluted, so why not go against the grain and create a maze which ultimately delivers the visitor some rare clarity? From this notion BIG Maze was born, bringing both intrigue from the outside and eventually visual understanding from the labyrinth's heart.
The installation measures 57 x 57 ft and is constructed from Baltic Birch. Open from 4th July to 1st September 2014, it is a taster of what is yet to come during the BIG exhibition; starting in January 2015, the exhibition will showcase around 90 projects in the arches around the Great Hall.