An Award for the Yet-to-Be-Built Hirshhorn Bubble

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It's awards season, and, as such, it's only fitting that one of the Smithsonian museum's most innovative construction projects gets recognized. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has been honored by Architect, the magazine of the American Institute of Architects, for its seasonal expansion project—a translucent inflatable bubble structure—designed by the New York architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

This year's judges decided that the 58th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards should "return to the program's original purpose: identifying projects that push the envelope of progessive design, regardless of the building type." One of two awardees, the Hirshhorn bubble, a temporary 14,000-square-foot space designed to increase public engagement through its educational programming and creative use of space, fits the bill.

"In terms of the innovation, the freshness of the idea, the sustainable aspects, and the presentation, it's just delicious," juror Dan Rockhill enthused, according to Architect.

Updates to the structure's design can be seen on the museum's web site.