Standing nearly 145 feet tall, the inflatable structure sits in the Hirshhorn’s courtyard, ballooning through the top of the building. It will be visible from all sides of the museum and at points along the Mall. The pavilion will transform the Plaza’s public space into a seasonal auditorium, café, and meeting place filled with activity.
We aim to create a vibrant public space offering diverse artistic and educational events, via a seasonally installed temporary pavilion that is also an important architectural and artistic work in its own right. The pavilion and the activities it will house affirm the Museum’s commitment to enhancing public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and culture–locally, nationally and globally. The pavilion will be a site for new educational initiatives, as well as a place for collaborations between the Hirshhorn and other national, regional, and local institutions. With an expanded auditorium, the temporary pavilion will serve as the hub for a new series of conferences exploring important cross-disciplinary issues in contemporary culture.
The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden received supportive comments from the National Capital Planning Commission for a proposed seasonal inflatable pavilion to the museum’s plaza. Architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s design for the structure was reviewed at the concept stage. The NCPC voted to approve executive director Marcel C. Acosta’s recommendation of the project. To date, the Hirshhorn Museum has received encouragement to proceed with the development of this project by both the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the NCPC.
Preliminary planning for the project began in summer 2009. We are working towards the first installation of the temporary inflatable pavilion in 2012. Initial construction of the pavilion has been estimated at $5 million, with an additional endowment of $2.5- $5 million for continuing installation, storage, and programmatic research costs. DSR’s recent projects include the redesign of Alice Tully Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), and New York’s High Line.