It’s taking shape before our eyes - but what is it?

The "Bird's Nest" National Stadium in Beijing?  A new death-defying roller coaster? 

Frame being prepared by the fabricator, Frontier Technologies (Gardena, CA). TriPyramid (Westford, MA) has overall responsibility for the abstract flag’s fabrication.Frame being prepared by the fabricator, Frontier Technologies (Gardena, CA). TriPyramid (Westford, MA) has overall responsibility for the abstract flag’s fabrication.

When I first saw these photos it took me a minute to realize what in the world I was looking at.  I knew they had to have something to do with the bustling construction taking place outside my office door, but my first guess—the latest in high-tech indoor plumbing?—wasn't correct either. 

No, the elegantly undulating steel "ribbons" are actually part of the structural support system for an innovative and dramatic abstract flag installation that will mark the entrance to the new Star-Spangled Banner gallery.  The frame is currently being prepared for shipment and will arrive at the museum before the end of the month.  Later, 960 “pixels” of mirrored polycarbonate will be attached to the backs of the vertical truss members.   

Detail of the frameFor months I've been eyeballing architectural renderings of how the completed abstract flag will look.  I've also pictured it in my mind's eye, soaring in the central atrium and greeting millions of visitors each year.  But none of those images beats these photos of the real thing taking shape before our eyes—especially once we understand what it is we're actually looking at!

Dana Allen-Greil is the museum's new media project manager and this blog's managing editor.  Working on technology projects in front of a computer all day means she likes shiny new things—but she probably also needs a new eyeglass prescription.

Posted at 11:49 am EDT in Construction,Reopening