14 April 2009

Smithsonian Selects The Next Great Museum

Several weeks ago, the Smithsonian Institution reviewed the designs of the six finalists for the new African American Museum to be built on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW. For those who can't visualize it, the location will be here:

View Larger Map

After roughly 2-1/2 weeks of looking over the six proposals, the Smithsonian has chosen a design that it thinks "will be an important addition to the National Mall and to the architecture of the city".
The winning designers -- the Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup -- envisioned a museum with two of the above-ground stories shaped like wide crowns. They sit upon a wide stone porch, and the exhibits are contained on four floors. The exterior features bronze screens that change color during the day and night, and are designed to be porous filters for light inside the sharp geometric structure.

David Adjaye, one of the architects, said the design followed themes of "celebration and praise. We are celebrating an incredible journey and looking to the future."

While quite striking, the Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroup design was only my second favorite. I much preferred the Foster + Partners/URS Group, Inc. design ("Proposal C" from the first link in this post) because of its soft lines, its harmony with the landscape, and its contrast with the harsh rectangular buildings surrounding it.

Still, the Smithsonian has chosen a smart design that should fit well amongst the rest of the museums on the Mall.

1 comment:

Tuffie said...

am i the only one that the Google street view thing-e makes throw up???

*steadies self before hitting the books*

but it does look like a cool building. it has plenty of shiny things hanging from the ceiling that will keep me entertained for hours.