For those of you shut inside due to cold weather, this massive art installation by Snarkitecture, a New York art and architecture group, will sound like absolute heaven. Dubbed “The Beach,” the installation is a gigantic ball pit for adults and kids, filled with 1.1 million balls. It’s designed to mimic the sensorial and emotional experiences of playing on the shore.
Snarkitecture first installed The Beach at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. in 2015. From there, it traveled to Tampa, Florida, and it has just opened in its third iteration in Sydney, Australia. Although each version has been adapted to suit its specific environment, all of them have shared a monochromatic white-on-white palette, with special flooring to mimic the graininess of sand, and beach chairs for lounging on the “shoreline.” The “water” consists of over a million clear balls, made of recyclable, antimicrobial plastic. “Jump in, swim around or just lie on top for that contemplative floating on water feeling,” Snarkitecture partner Ben Porto told The Sydney Morning Herald. “The balls are like water in that they hold you but also it's hard to walk through quickly. We say be crazy in it.”
We are all Liz Lemon right now:
A video from The Creator’s Project shows museum visitors in Washington D.C. leaping joyfully into the pit, and “floating” among the balls.
I want to be this person, please:
For those of you whose immediate association with the term “ball pit” is of ball pits at popular fast food establishments littered with gooey ketchup packets and things you shudder to think about, have no fear. Porto assured The Sydney Morning Herald that The Beach is cleaner than you might expect. “Everyone just assumes where there's a ball-pit involved that children will wee in it,” he said. “But, perhaps by virtue of it being an art installation, no errant liquids are found beneath the balls.”
Visitors should be careful, however, about losing property in the pit. Apparently, the Washington D.C. installation revealed a treasure trove of lost items when the balls were removed. Along with almost 100 cell phones and exactly $433.24 in change, visitors lost sunglasses, hats, clothing items, and even shoes at the bottom of the plastic “ocean.” One unlucky museum goer lost an engagement ring in the pit, though it was, thankfully, recovered in the following days.
Lucky folks in Sydney will be able to visit the ball pit for free until January 29.