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Freelon Adjaye Bond and SmithGroup Win Commission to Build National Museum of African American History and Culture

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We told you way back in July of last year that the Smithsonian was on the hunt to find an architect for their newest educational offering, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We followed up on that recently by giving you the shortlist and some shots of the designs that were proposed. Now we have finally come to the end (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it), with the Smithsonian announcing that they have selected the team of Freelon, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup to create the building for them. While we were still pulling for Norman Foster up until the last minute, we always appreciate Adjaye’s work and admit that the images released with the announcement (lots of good ones over at Fast Company) look pretty great. Here’s a bit about the building:

The bronze, layered corona atop a stone base would be the defining element of the structure, which could be the last major building added to the expanse between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument.

…The crown concept, which would allow natural light to flow into the structure through bronze screens, was inspired by images from African and American history, Adjaye said, “this idea of uplifted praise sort of imagery.”

It evokes traditional headdresses worn by African-American women, as well as the colonial crown from Africa and the idea “that a hat-wearing person is a free person…who doesn’t have to carry a load but could wear a hat,” he said.

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