National Museum of African American History & Culture | NMAAHC

National Museum of African American History & Culture Washington DC, NMAAHC Building

National Museum of African American History & Culture : NMAAHC

NMAAHC Architecture Competition – design by Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

13 Apr 2014 new larger images added on this page

National Museum of African American History & Culture Building

NMAAHC Building Groundbreaking News

22 Feb 2012 – President Obama speaks today at official ground breaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Designed by David Adjaye

The National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) breaks ground on 22 February. President Obama will deliver remarks at an official ceremony celebrating this milestone for the Smithsonian Institution’s new museum on Washington’s National Mall.

National Museum of African American History & Culture
picture courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

The NMAAHC consolidates Adjaye Associates’ growing US portfolio with arguably the nation’s most prestigious new building. As Lead Designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team, David Adjaye’s approach has been to establish both a meaningful relationship to the unique site as well as a strong conceptual resonance with America’s deep and longstanding African heritage.

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 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. The museum will house exhibit galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space for the NMAAHC.

National Museum of African American History & Culture
picture courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

David Adjaye said:
“The museum is located on a monumental site and it is truly a monumental project that has been nearly 200 years in the making. We always conceived of this building as a kind of turning point, a knuckle, a joint, which articulates a sensitivity to the original Beaux Arts masterplan as well as an enduring expression of monumentality. That’s the critical issue that we’ve been very concerned about, making sure the museum is not just another building on the mall, but a building that ends the mall properly and begins the monument.”

NMAAHC – Building Information

Team
Lead Designer: David Adjaye
Design Team: Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group
Client: Smithsonian Institution
Structural Engineer: Guy Nordenson and Associates, Rober Silman Associates
Mechanical Engineer: WSP, Flack + Kurtz

Total Area: 313,000 sqft

Contract Value: $500m

17 Feb 2012

National Museum of African American History & Culture – News

NMAAHC Building Groundbreaking

NMAAHC Building Washington DC
picture courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

A symbolic shovel will soon break ground on a five-acre site for the Museum for African American History and Culture, adjacent to the Washington Monument. The museum will underscore the challenge of interpreting the complex narrative arc of the black experience in America.

“The museum’s design is the result of an intense collaboration among Phil Freelon and two other black architects: David Adjaye and Max Bond”.

3 Apr 2009

NMAAHC Building – Winning Architect

Smithsonian Announces Design Competition Winner
for $500 million Addition to the National Mall

Winner, announced 17 Mar 2009 : Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

NMAAHC Building
picture courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

The Smithsonian has announced that Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup has been chosen as the architectural team to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture to be located on the National Mall near the Washington Monument. The selection was made by a jury chaired by Museum Director Lonnie G. Bunch III. Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup was among six architectural firms that entered a design competition in January.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with this talented team,” said Bunch. “Their vision and spirit of collaboration moved all members of the design competition jury. I am confident that they will give us a building that will be an important addition to the National Mall and to the architecture of this city.”

Steven M. Davis, FAIA, Partner of Davis Brody Bond Aedas said, “This is an obviously exciting day for us. The opportunity to design a landmark building on the last great site of the National Mall is something beyond our dreams. The experience working with this fantastic collaboration of Phil Freelon and David Adjaye has been immensely gratifying. Considering the strength of the competition, we are truly honored to have been selected.”

This project represents the culmination of the career and legacy of J. Max Bond, Jr., FAIA who died on February 18, 2009 in the middle of the design competition phase. Steven Davis, FAIA, affirms, “The joy of this moment comes with mixed emotions. Max Bond who was my partner for over 20 years worked tirelessly in conceiving the programming and design of our submission. We miss him especially on this incredible day.”

Freelon Adjaye Bond said in its design concept materials, “The National Museum of African American History and Culture—the institution and the building—embodies the African American spirit. Majestic yet exuberant, dignified yet triumphant, the building will be worthy of the museum’s vision, and its prominent place on the National Mall.”

National Museum of African American History & Culture
picture courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

The core design team selected by the Smithsonian consists of three firms—The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, and Davis Brody Bond Aedas.The Freelon Group will ensure that the design reflects the values and priorities of the museum and the Smithsonian. The Freelon Group designed the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore. Adjaye Associates will focus on the formal development and refinement of the building design. Adjaye Associates designed the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Davis Brody Bond Aedas will have the primary role of assuring adherence of the design to the program and vision. Davis Brody Bond Aedas is the Design Architect for the National September 11 Museum and, as Associate Architect, is executing the design of the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center. The firm also led the restoration and expansion of the New York Public Library. The Smith Group joined the FAB team to provide the resources necessary for delivering the design documents. The SmithGroup is an international architectural and engineering firm with offices in Washington, D.C., that designed the Normandy American Cemetery Interpretive Center in France. This unique collaboration combines a multi-generational understanding of African American culture with the ability to execute one of the nation’s most significant civic institutions.

The Freelon Group and Davis Brody Bond Aedas led the programming study for the museum which was completed in the fall of 2008 and are intimately familiar with the mission of the museum.

The building design will take up to three years, with construction to begin in 2012. Set to open in 2015, the museum’s total cost is estimated to be $500 million, including design. During the design phase, the Smithsonian will seek approval from the National Capital Planning Commission. In addition, the Institution will continue to consult with other Washington, D.C., agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service and the National Coalition to Save Our Mall.

Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup was one of 22 teams that responded to the Request for Qualifications in summer 2008. The six firms selected to participate in the design competition were announced in January 2009. The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress. Although it does not have a building yet, the museum is collecting artifacts; conducting seminars and symposia, including a recent two-day program on Black Power; gathering African American oral histories for StoryCorps, a joint program with National Public Radio and the Library of Congress; and creating traveling exhibitions such as “Let Your Motto Be Resistance.” In addition, the museum has its own gallery in the National Museum of American History, which currently is exhibiting “The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise.”

NMAAHC Building Information

Programme: 2012-
Site: Constitution Avenue
Budget: $500m

Six Design Teams Shortlisted – Final Design selection due Apr 2009

National Museum of African American History and Culture – Design Team Shortlist

Devrouax + Purnell Architects • Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Devrouax + Purnell Architects • Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with Kling Stubbins
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with Kling Stubbins

Foster + Partners URS Group, Inc
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Foster + Partners URS Group, Inc

Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Freelon Adjaye Bond Smith Group

Moody•Nolan Inc Antoine Predock Architect PC
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Moody•Nolan Inc Antoine Predock Architect PC

Moshe Safdie and Associates Inc
National Museum of African American History & Culture National Museum of African American History & Culture
Images courtesy Moshe Safdie and Associates Inc

More information re NMAAHC Building online soon


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

3 Feb 2009 – Information from Foster + Partners:

National Museum of African American History and Culture Shortlist

The Smithsonian has announced the shortlist of firms for the design of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

A collaborative architectural and engineering team of architect Harry Robinson FAIA, associate architects Blackburn Architects founded by Walter and Alpha Blackburn, landscape designer Michel Desvigne, engineering firm URS and Foster + Partners will work together on a two-month design competition for the Museum.

The museum is scheduled to be constructed on a five-acre plot of land on Washington DC’s Constitution Avenue between the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Total project cost for designing, constructing and installing exhibitions in the new museum is estimated at about $500 million, of which one-half will be provided by Congress. The Smithsonian will raise the remainder. Construction of the building is expected to begin in 2012 and open to the public in 2015.

NMAAHC Building Design Teams Shortlisted

Adjaye/Associates + Davis Brody Bond + Freelon Group
Diller Scofidio & Renfro + KlingStubbins
Foster & Partners + URS
Moody Nolan + Antoine Predock
Moshe Safdie + Sultan Campbell Britt & Associates
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners + Devrouax & Purnell

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National Museum of African American History & Culture Building

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