We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

London’s “Olympicopolis” Aims to Host Smithsonian’s First International Venue

The Smithsonian is considering opening its first international exhibition space in “Olympicopolis” - London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class cultural hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States. 

“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.

London Announces Design Competition for 'Olympicopolis' Site

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a new competition for the designs of a cultural quarter next to the 2012 Olympic park. The site has been dubbed 'Olympicopolis', and so far has expressions of interest from University College London, University of the Arts London, the V&A, Sadler's Wells Theatre and now possibly - according to the Guardian - Washington DC's Smithsonian.

Smithsonian Hires BIG to Rethink Historic D.C. Campus

The Smithsonian Institution has commissioned the innovative practice of Bjarke Ingles to reimagine the heart of its antiquated Washington D.C. campus. The Danish architect has agreed to an eight- to 12- month, $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of a master plan that seeks to dissolve the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plagues the area.   

More on this news after the break...

Update: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

© Adjaye Associates
© Adjaye Associates

We have been covering the progress of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture over the last several months, our most recent being President Obama’s speech at the ceremony for the official ground breaking. Adjaye Associates recently shared with us some insight into the inspiration for the design and its grounding principles. We also have several new perspective renders illustrating the internal experience. More details after the break.

Obama speaks at the ground breaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group
Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group

President Obama attended the official ground breaking ceremony of the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on February 22, commemorating this milestone for the Smithsonian Institution’s new museum on Washington’s National Mall. The Tanzanian-born, London-based architect David Adjaye serves as Lead Designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team that was selected by the Smithsonian Institute back in 2009 in the international competition for the design of the nation’s new prestigious building. The President began his brief remarks by stating, “As others have mentioned, this day has been a long time coming. The idea for a museum dedicated to African Americans was first put forward by black veterans of the Civil War. And years later, the call was picked up by members of the civil rights generation -– by men and women who knew how to fight for what was right and strive for what is just. This is their day. This is your day. It’s an honor to be here to see the fruit of your labor.” Continue reading for more information on the project and a video of President Obama’s speech.

10th National Design Awards Winners Announced

The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will celebrate outstanding achievement in design this fall with its 10th annual National Design Awards program. Today, Cooper-Hewitt Director Paul Warwick Thompson announced the winners and finalists of the 2009 National Design Awards, which recognize excellence across a variety of disciplines.

Among several categories, some of the winners are:

Corporate Achievement: Walker Art Center Architecture Design: SHoP Architects Interior Design: Tsao & McKown Architects Landscape Design: Hood Design

Seen at Bustler. Images of the winners after the break.