We are confident [these architects] will give us a building that will be an important addition to the National Mall and to the architecture of our nation's capital. Their design brings to life our vision for the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution with a building that will help illuminate the resiliency, optimism, spirituality, the struggle and the joy that emanate from the African American experience, and indeed, the quintessential American experience.
We welcome the architectural team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup as they join us on our journey to build this Museum. Together, we will create a signature green building, worthy of the traditions and standards of the Smithsonian and of the rich history and culture of the African American community.
Lonnie G. Bunch, III Founding Director
The architectural team is a collaboration of four firms: The Freelon Group; Adjaye Associates; Davis Brody Bond; and the SmithGroup.
Philip Freelon, FAIA LEED AP, having led the programming effort, will have the primary role of assuring adherence of the design to the program and vision and will serve as Design Guarantor.
Founded in 1990, the Freelon Group has earned recognition for its design of museums with African and African American themes. Of note are the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Franciscoboth winners of multiple AIA design awardsand the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, NC.
David Adjaye, RIBA, now recognized as one of the leading architects of his generation in the UK and beyond, will serve as Lead Designer for the project. Adjaye will focus on the formal development and refinement of the building design.
Winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects award in 1993, Adjaye has designed the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway, and other projects in both the UK and US, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Rivington Place and the Idea Store in London.
Adjaye brings an internationally acclaimed design expertise and a global perspective to the design of this Museum. His designs have been the subject of two books, David Adjaye Houses: Recycling, Reconfiguring, Rebuilding and David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings, and he has presented numerous television and radio programs on architecture for the BBC, including Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent in 2005.