Skip to main content

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Washington, DC

The new museum facility, located on prominent site on the National Mall, derives its primary architectural idea from the classical tripartite column and from Yoruban art and architecture, where columns or wooden posts were usually crafted with a capital resembling a crown or corona. The building’s permanent exhibits house significant cultural artifacts including a Pullman train car, a concrete guard tower from the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola), a Tuskegee Airmen airplane from World War II, and a slave cabin from South Carolina.

  • Photo credit: Richard Barnes.
  • Photo credit: Richard Barnes.
  • Photo credit: Richard Barnes.
Read Caption

In the fall of 2008, Silman’s participation in this project began with an the initial programming study. Silman was then a member of the building design team, working in collaboration with Guy Nordenson and Associates.

In the fall of 2008, Silman’s participation in this project began with an the initial programming study. Silman was then a member of the building design team, working in collaboration with Guy Nordenson and Associates.

Silman’s scope of work was the foundation and below-grade structural design, and the firm was also responsible for some of the above-grade CA work.

The overall building is reinforced cast-in-place concrete below grade and structural steel above grade. Key site considerations included flood resiliency, a high water table, the area’s poor soils, and the archaeology of the historic National Mall site.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×