Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Smithsonian Selects African-American History Museum Building Design

As Lucy mentioned a few days ago, the selection committee representing the Smithsonian has been considering design proposals from a handful of architects for the planned Museum of African-American History, which will be sited near the Washington Monument on the Mall. Yesterday morning, they announced their unanimous choice: the two-tiered, trapezoidal structure proposed by David Adjaye of Freelon Adjaye Bond.

I think this was the best choice, given that each of the other designs were evocative of, in no particular order:
  • What you'd get if you made a six-year-old drop acid and the asked them to design a spaceship.
  • An architect aiming for "long, storied, rich history" and instead ending up with "nightmarish futuristic dystopia"
  • Hirshhorn redux
  • As the Washington Post so delicately noted, "great glass and concrete buttocks."
  • I.M. Pei really meant to get to designing this sooner, he really did, it's just he had this thing, and then he was really tired, and he had to do the whole thing start to finish yesterday at 1 AM.
More thorough coverage here and here, and video of the press conference here.

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