Soaring above the Museum’s Great Hall, Hive is built entirely of wound paper tubes, a construction material that is lightweight, recyclable, and renewable. The tubes are stacked and interlocked to create three interconnected domed chambers. Each chamber balances structural forces and supports its own weight, while attaining a height that enables a unique acoustic signature. The tubes feature a luminous silver exterior and vivid magenta interior, offering a visual contrast with the Museum’s historic nineteenth-century interior and colossal Corinthian columns.
Hive’s catenary form recalls other built and natural structures such as Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Florence Cathedral in Italy, and vernacular Musgum mud huts in Cameroon.
Each chamber features an oculus that filters natural light from the Museum’s clerestories.