Five years after Congress established it, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest and 19th Smithsonian Institution Museum, is looking for an architect. The RFQ, issued last Wednesday, calls for a team that has experience working with government agencies and private industries, can design the building within a thirty-six month calendar, and who will "infuse" their vision with "an appreciation of African American History and Culture".
"We also look forward to working with a firm whose member share our respect for the National Mall and are excited about creating a signature, green building that will be worthy of its site, the Smithsonian and the richness of African American culture," said founding director of the museum, Lonnie Bunch.
Submissions are due by September 19, 2008 with selection scheduled for spring 2009. The Smithsonian has already reached out to members of the National Organization of Minority Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and other organizations to design the "symbolic" five-acre site between the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The RFQ says, "Minority, small business, small disadvantaged business, women-owned small business....and Service Disabled Veteran owned firms are strongly encouraged to apply."
The development timetable for the 350,000 s.f. museum calls for groundbreaking in 2012 with completion in 2015.