Virtual Tour: Dupont Underground Is Open

D.C.'s newest art exhibition opened Friday beneath the crowded streets of Dupont Circle.

13 photos
Sophia Barnes
Sophia Barnes
Journalists and photographers try to capture the "Raise/Raze" exhibit, which is brightly lit in some areas and dark in others.
The bright red entrance on New Hampshire Avenue in Northwest is just north of Dupont Circle -- and nearly impossible to miss. The stairs once led down to a trolley station -- but that was abandoned in the 1950s.
Sophia Barnes
The exhibit is made up of over 600,000 balls that were donated by the National Building Museum after their "Beach" exhibit closed, according to the Dupont Underground website. Architecture and design firm Hou de Sousa designed this exhibit.
Sophia Barnes
The rules state that visitors can touch and reconfigure the balls however they want -- as long as they take balls from structures that are shorter than human height. This sculpture will likely be completely rebuilt by future visitors.
Sophia Barnes
A floor-to-ceiling structure made entirely of translucent, plastic balls introduces the space: a long, curved tunnel with visible trolley tracks.
Sophia Barnes
Hundreds of volunteers assembled to glue together the balls into cubes that were three balls tall. Then, Velcro was glued on each cube. The cubes are the building blocks of the whole exhibit.
Sophia Barnes
The wing of the tunnel opposite "Raise/Raze" was a food court -- until bad ventilation shut it down. Board member Anne Montgomery said that many commercial spaces are interested in developing in the space, including a wine bar and bicycle storage.
Sophia Barnes
Philippa Hughes, Dupont Underground board member, introduces the exhibit before the ribbon cutting. She introduced D.C. Councilmembers Jack Evans and David Grosso, who gave speeches and cut the ribbon.
Sophia Barnes
D.C. Councilmember David Grosso enters the "Raise/Raze" exhibit. Board Member Anne Montgomery said the exhibit was named after the how it was built: people would raise the balls together and then raze, or tear them down, when the exhibit closed.
Sophia Barnes
A band -- sitting on plastic-ball chairs -- played for the opening.
Sophia Barnes
David Grosso and two of his staff look at two sculptures at Dupont Underground. The smaller one will be completely reconfigured as future visitors rebuild the exhibit.
Sophia Barnes
Several "trees" throughout the exhibit reach from floor to ceiling.
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