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For World Architecture Day, the Hirshhorn will embrace its unique building—as well as the art inside its walls—with an entire week of architecture-themed programming for all ages.

Lovingly nicknamed the “Brutalist donut,” the Hirshhorn is a celebrated example of an architectural style known as Brutalism, which reached its height in the 1970’s and is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Designed by Gordon Bunshaft as a functional sculpture, the Hirshhorn is one of DC’s most striking buildings, standing out among its classical neighbors on the National Mall. Celebrate and discover the genius of this rebellious modern design with expert-led tours, thought-provoking talks, hands-on activities for kids (and adults too!), and more.



Hirshhorn Eye: Self-Guided Architecture Tour
10 am–5:30 pm
Curated just for architecture-lovers (or the architecturally curious), this digital tour will bring you face-to-face with the artists and experts behind the Hirshhorn building, its recently redesigned Lobby by Hiroshi Sugimoto, and select works on view, all on your own smartphone.


Sunday, October 6

World Architecture Day at the National Building Museum 
11 am–3 pm | National Building Museum
Take a fifteen-minute walk to the National Building Museum as they celebrate their dedication to the understanding of architecture and design with a free, all-ages community day.


Monday, October 7

TECH TOUR: Digital Drawing + Architecture
9–10 am | Meet in the Lobby
Learn how to make digital drawing of the Hirshhorn’s unique architecture. Get free tickets

Pop-up PLAYTIME: Architecture
10 am–2 pm | Plaza
Drop in and celebrate World Architecture Day with fun building challenges and play activities.

Mid-Day Art Break: Architecture and Art
12:30 pm | Meet in the Lobby
Gallery Guide Nancy Hirshbein will lead a tour of works on view to discover the surprising and innovative ways that art and architecture can be linked.

2 pm | Lower Level
Come by the galleries for a sketching session to explore the architectural qualities of Alicja Kwade’s installation WeltenLinie, on view in Feel the Sun in Your Mouth: Recent Acquisitions.

Tour: Architecture + Materials
3:30–4:30 pm | Meet in Lobby
Brutalist DC  founder Deane Madsen leads a hands-on tour of the Hirshhorn, exploring the architectural elements that make the building a unique example of Brutalist architecture.


Wednesday, October 9

STORYTIME: Iggy Peck Architect
10–11 am | Meet in the Lobby
Explore architecture through a read-aloud of Iggy Peck, Architect. Then, investigate the building and create your own architectural structure.


Thursday, October 10

In Conversation: Bauhaus, 100 Years Later
7-8 pm | Ring Auditorium
Revisit the Bauhaus one hundred years later with a discussion on the interesting, complex, and sometimes problematic ways the Bauhaus ideals still infiltrate our culture across the world today. This program is part of Wunderbar Together: The Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19. Get free tickets 


Friday, October 11

Autumn Evenings
5–8:30 pm
For the final Autumn Evening of the season, kick back with a drink on the Hirshhorn’s Plaza and revel in the Brutalist beauty. Kids ages birth–preschool are invited to explore architecture through a read-aloud of Iggy Peck, Architect, followed by hands-on activities.


Sunday, October 13

STORYTIME: Iggy Peck Architect
11–12 am | Meet in the Lobby
Explore architecture through a read-aloud of Iggy Peck, Architect. Then, investigate the building and create your own architectural structure.


Want more? Check out our programs throughout the week or head over to our friends at the National Building Museum!


October 6, 2019
10:00 am–5:30 pm
Event Category:


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20560 United States
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
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