Photos released of Smithsonian’s African-American museum project

The American National Museum of African American History is due to open next month in Washington, DC.

The museum, which was designed by London-based Adjaye Associates and Detroit architect SmithGroup, will house exhibit galleries and storage for elements of the Smithsonian collection, as well as theatre space for live events.

A collection of photos by Paul Clemence of ARCHI-PHOTO shows the nearly completed structure, which is located on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

The $309m building is wrapped in an ornamental bronze lattice that is an "historical reference to African-American craftsmanship". The facade also acts as a brise-soleil, although half of the structure is actually underground.

Inside the 128,000 square metre development, visitors will be "guided on a historical and emotional journey, characterised by vast, column free spaces".

Below ground, the "ambience is contemplative and monumental, achieved by the triple height history gallery" and a memorial space called the "oculus". This brings light in the lower storey, diffused by a cascade of water.

The museum is due to open on 24 September.

More information available here.

Images via Paul Clemence/ARCHI-PHOTO

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