The Smithsonian has revealed (via WashingtonPost.com) the first prospective designs for the Mall’s next museum: the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. And from the looks of things, it’s going to be the grandest one yet; proposals for the 350,000 square foot museum within earshot of the Washington Monument range from glass-encased and “table-shaped” to almost pre-historic with natural materials “rising as of out of bedrock and muck.”
Last week’s presentations at the Smithsonian included new renderings and scale models by the development teams previously identified by DCmud: Diller Scofidio and Renfro (now teamed with KlingStubbins); Devrouax and Purnell Architects/Pei Cobb Freed and Partners; Moshe Safdie and Associates (now teamed with Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates), The Freelon Group (now teamed with Adjaye Associates and Davis Brody Bond), Foster and Partners (now teamed with URS) and Moody Nolan Inc (now teamed with Antoine Predock Architect).
Among the new revelations unveiled along with the designs were that the project’s budget, formerly reported at $300 million, which has now almost doubled to $500 million – half of which will be funded through a Congressional appropriation. The Smithsonian is also now projecting a 2015 opening for the museum, following the previously projected 2012 construction start date.
Once completed, the Museum will stand on a five-acre parcel at 15th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW – one of the very last prime plots abutting the National Mall. A final selection on the Smithsonian’s choice of architect will be announced by a Smithsonian-chosen 11-member panel next month, to be seconded (or not) by a final approval by the Smithsonian Board of Regents. The final design will then enter into lengthy submission processes with both the Commission on Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission.
Both interior and exterior renderings of the proposed designs are available here.