At present, there is no shortage of architects willing to take a shot at designing for what is, essentially, one the last "vacant" parcels abutting the National Mall - and also one of the closest to the Washington Monument. Current bidders on the $300 million project include Diller Scofidio and Renfro, Devrouax and Purnell Architects, Moshe Safdie and Associates, The Freelon Group, Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, Foster and Partners and Moody Nolan Inc. There is no word on when a final selection will be made, but construction is currently slated to begin in February (which also happens to be Black History Month) 2012.
Those interested in scoping out the NMAAHC’s exhibits in 2009, however, will have to hit the road; the museum’s inaugural exhibition, Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits, will travel the country until work on its permanent exhibition space is complete. The collection is currently on display in Detroit, with future bookings planned for San Francisco, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago and Cincinnati all the way through 2011.
The museum was made possible by legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush in December 2003. The same act charted the museum under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution, and it was that body’s Board of Regents that selected the 5-acre site bounded by Constitution Avenue, Madison Drive and 14th and 15th Streets, NW to be home of the first national museum “devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life.” Having already completed a preliminary Environmental Impact analysis, the Smithsonian is currently undertaking what it labels as the “architectural programming phase” of development, during which the space and system requirements integral to a fully functioning public institution, such as the NMAAHC, will be established, and then relayed to the prospective architects for inclusion in their designs.
Washington DC real estate development news