ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museum
  4. United States
  5. Adjaye Associates
  6. 2016
  7. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates

  • 07:30 - 30 August, 2016
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates, © Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

© Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley © Darren Bradley +21

  • Structural Engineer

    Guy Nordeson and Associates, Robert Silman Associates
  • Mechanical Engineer

    WSP Flack + Kurtz
  • Sustainability Consultant

    Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Landscape Architect

    Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
  • Lighting Consultants

    Fisher Marantz Stone
  • Acoustics / AV / Theatre / Multi-Media Consultants

    Shen Milson Wilke
  • Façade Consultant

    R.A. Heintges & Associates
  • Security Consultants

    ARUP North America
  • Contract Value

    $504m
  • More SpecsLess Specs
© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

From the architect. Winning the competition to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture has consolidated the practice’s US portfolio with arguably the nation’s most prestigious new building. Located on Constitution Avenue, adjacent to the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument, the museum will house exhibit galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space for the NMAAHC. As lead designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team, David Adjaye’s approach has been to establish both a meaningful relationship to this unique site as well as a strong conceptual resonance with America’s deep and longstanding African heritage. The design rests on three cornerstones: the “corona” shape and form of the building; the extension of the building out into the landscape – the porch; and the bronze filigree envelope. 

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

Situated on the Washington Monument grounds the museum maintains a subtle profile in the landscape – more than half is below ground – with five storeys above. The corona is based on elements of the Washington Monument, closely matching the 17-degree angle of the capstone and the panel size and pattern has been developed using the Monument stones as a reference. The entire building is wrapped in an ornamental bronze lattice that is a historical reference to African American craftsmanship. The density of the pattern can be modulated to control the amount of sunlight and transparency into the interior. The south entry is composed of the Porch and a central water feature. An extension of the building out into the landscape, the porch creates an outdoor room that bridges the gap between the interior and exterior. 

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley
Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan
© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

At 50m (49’-2”) deep, the setback is similar to other buildings on the north side of the Mall. The underside of the porch roof is tilted upward allowing reflection of the moving water below. This covered area creates a microclimate where breezes combine with the cooling waters to generate a place of refuge from the hot summer sun. There is also an outdoor patio on the porch rooftop that is accessed from a mezzanine level within the building. 

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley

Inside the building, visitors will be guided on a historical and emotional journey, characterised by vast, column free spaces, a dramatic infusion of natural light and a diverse material palette comprising pre-cast concrete, timber and a glazed skin that sits within the bronze lattice. Below ground, the ambience is contemplative and monumental, achieved by the triple height history gallery and symbolised by the memorial space – the “oculus” – that brings light diffused by a cascade of water into the contemplative space from the Monument grounds. Moving upwards, the views become pivotal, as one circulates along the corona with unrivalled panoramas of the Mall, Federal Triangle buildings and Monument Grounds. 

© Darren Bradley
© Darren Bradley
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture / Adjaye Associates" 30 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/794203/smithsonian-national-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture-adjaye-associates/>
Read comments

1 Comments

JD Carling · August 30, 2016

where are the hanging tassels in the main lobby from the renders? is it not yet complete?

Rawlio · September 01, 2016 03:57 PM

I think these are pre-completion. There's a lot of OSB covering the floors.

···

Comments are closed

Read comments
© Darren Bradley

Smithsonian美国非裔美国人历史和文化国家博物馆 / Adjaye Associates