April 15, 2009

African American Museum Architects Selected

A consortium of four firms, referred to as the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup, has been selected to design the new National Museum of African American History and Culture on one of the world's most prominent sites between the Museum of American History and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

The selection process was based on a design competition that drew entries from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners, and Moshe Safdie among others. It is difficult to understand the selected design from the renderings--frankly, the others look more dramatic--but the winning concept is grounded in an understanding that the role of the museum on the Mall is more than a monumental chronicle of African American history, but rather a place to celebrate and explore African American history and culture, a deeply thoughtful response to the program. This museum is long overdue. Congratulations to the winning team!

A few more photos are available at the Smithsonian press office's web site. Additional background information about the project can be found at the museum's site.

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