david adjaye’s NMAAHC — or national museum of african american history and culture — is taking its final steps towards completion in washington, DC. set to open later in 2016, the building’s imposing architecture is situated near recognized monuments along the capital’s national mall. characterized by a stepped, upward-reaching structure, the intricate bronze-colored façade is partially an homage to the ironworkers of america’s southern cities.

david adjaye NMAAHC
the building is situated alongside monuments along DC’s national mall
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

 

 

the project — recently photographed by paul clemence from ARCHI-PHOTO — is the collaborative effort of adjaye associates, the freelon group, davis brody bond, and smithgroupJJR. the NMAAHC features distinctive cladding that invites daylight inside the primary gallery spaces through a permeable, patterned filigree. ‘we took an original ornamental ironwork and used an algorithm to track the organizing principles of the pattern and we really remade that in the 21st century to be the ornamental framework of the building’, explains architect david adjaye. ‘it’s not just an ornament, it deals with protecting the building by creating a solar shade that protects it from the sun and is highly sustainable.’

david adjaye NMAAHC
the form closely matches the 17-degree angle of the washington monument’s capstone
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

 

 

defined by its stepped sawtooth design, the structure reaches upwards, expressing faith, hope and resiliency. the form is partly based on the elements of the washington monument — closely matching the 17-degree angle of the capstone. the shimmering bronze crown rests on a stone clad plinth, where guests enter through a glazed porch into a softly lit column free hall forming the museum’s primary public space. the generously proportioned volume serves as a constant node connecting the scheme’s various programs, including a café and gift shop, and features a dynamic multi-media display.

 

the museum will open to the public on september 24, 2016. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

david adjaye NMAAHC
the scheme is characterized by a stepped, upward-reaching structure
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the intricate façade is an homage to the ironworkers of america’s southern cities
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the NMAAHC features distinctive cladding that invites daylight inside the building
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the structure is entirely wrapped in a façade which changes appearance depending on daylight conditions
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
detail of the permeable filigree
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the patterned elevations allow light inside the museum building
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
work on the building’s interior continues ahead of its opening later this year
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the shimmering bronze crown rests on a stone clad plinth
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

david adjaye NMAAHC
the museum will open to the public on september 24, 2016
image © paul clemence / ARCHI-PHOTO

 

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