Moshe Safdie and Associates
"Two separate thoughtsone about urban design, the other about the museum's organization, merged into a singular concept for the project. The first insight was to reduce the mass of the building placing over one third of the program below street level. This minimal footprint was bisected by two view corridors. The primary one on the axis of the Washington Monument We felt that the building above ground should be kept simple and austere, focusing its expressive power on the entry and primarily on the Memorial Pavilion, which we set forward into the landscape, in its scale harmonious with the other memorials on the National Mall."