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Dupont Underground Passed Over These Four Designs for Repurposing the Building Museum’s “Beach” Balls

All photos courtesy of Dupont Underground.

After months of waiting, we now know the fate of the plastic balls that filled the National Building Museum’s “Beach” exhibit last summer. On April 30, they’ll be reintroduced at the Dupont Undergound art space as a magnetic art installation called “Raise/Raze,” which lets people finesse the balls into various shapes and designs similar to “sand in a massive sandbox” or a “real-world version of Minecraft.”

Designed by New York company Hou De Sousa, “Raise/Raze” is getting featured because it won Dupont Underground’s “Re-Ball!” competition to repurpose 650,000 of the balls that filled the Building Museum’s summertime craze. Hou De Sousa beat out four other finalists.

Here are the entries that didn’t make the cut:

“Labirinth de Versailles”

ball 1

This piece, designed by Italian company HGLN, would have transformed Dupont Underground into an immersive maze similar to the one in Versailles, France, with the balls functioning like large hedges.



New York artists Evan Wiskup and Ryan Connolly created a design that would have placed the translucent balls in a suspended catenary net and lit them with an intense, blue lamp as a way of simulating a deep cavern or lagoon.


ball 3

This design from New York artists Julia Chapman and Lindsey May would have turned the balls into “an enchanting, twisting armature” that looks like a cross between glowing intestines and radioactive pipes.



The most compact piece of the bunch, “Ballroom”—from the German-based Jens Bothe—would have melted down the 650,000 balls and reformed them into 13 larger balls placed throughout the Dupont Underground.