Her great, great grandfather came to this country in 1790 as a slave. He was owned by a prominent contractor who used him as a builder. He passed the trade down through the generations, with McKissack’s grandfather and great uncle becoming the first licensed black architects in the Southeastern United States. Today, McKissack runs her own architecture and construction services firm, McKissack & McKissack, in Washington. Read more from Marisa M. Kashino for the Washingtonian.
The long-awaited opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture generated worldwide attention. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting, compelling and thought-provoking coverage to tell the story behind the museum’s stunning architectural design.
The building design is the product of a collaboration of four design firms that formed Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR: The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond and the SmithGroupJJR. The design of the building features two distinct design elements—the “Corona,” the signature exterior feature that consists of 3,600 bronze-colored cast-aluminum panels weighing a total of 230 tons, and the “Porch,” which serves as the location for the main museum entrance on Madison Drive. Read more about the building’s design from the Smithsonian’s press kit.
WJLA Good Morning Washington, Sept. 9, 2015
Architect Phil Freelon on the highly anticipated African American History Museum opening. Watch the video from ABC7
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 13, 2016
In full shadow it’s a workmanlike brown, the color of shoe leather. In direct sunlight the shade is closer to bronze. Late in the day its western edge, turned toward the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, begins to reflect the setting sun and turns a surprisingly bright gold. Read more from Christopher Hawthorne for the Los Angeles Times.
Architect, Sept. 14, 2016
The architectural press descended on Washington, D.C., this morning to preview the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens on Sept. 24. Read more from Sara Johnson for Architect.
National Museum of African American History and Culture Review: Power With a Light Architectural Touch
The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 14, 2016
Dark and blocky from a distance but dissolving into filigree screens of gleaming bronze poised upon a base of transparent glass, the new National Museum of African American History and Culture bears the immense weight of its historic genesis-over a century in the making- as lightly as the shimmer on its triple-stacked crown shape. Read more from Julie V. Iovine for The Wall Street Journal (pdf)
The Descendant of a Slave Got the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Built
Washingtonian, Sept. 15, 2016
There’s a Maya Angelou quote on one of the walls of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. It reads, in part: “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” When you talk to Deryl McKissack, its meaning becomes much clearer.
National Public Radio, Sept. 15, 2016
The building rises — bronze and “brooding,” in the words of architect David Adjaye — floating in a sea of white marble and limestone on the sprawling National Mall in Washington, D.C. More from Ari Shapiro for National Public Radio.
Wired, Sept. 16, 2016
…The African American experience is integral to the museum’s architecture. “You’re using construction as a vehicle to carry ideas” says lead designer David Adjaye, part of the mega-team of architects and designers—including Davis Brody Bond, Freelon Group, SmithGroup JJR, and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol—that worked on the museum. Read more from Sam Lubell for Wired.
The Atlantic, Sept. 17, 2016
One of the most difficult lessons to learn about racism today is one of the first to be gleaned at the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens to the world on September 24. On the lowest concourse, deep in the museum’s basement levels, exhibits about slavery explain that the trans-Atlantic slave trade wasn’t motivated by racism. Read more from Kriston Capps for the Atlantic.
The Guardian, Sept. 18, 2016
Decades after it was first dreamed of, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, completed by British architect David Adjaye, opens this week. While the building is striking, its collection is more remarkable. Read more from Rowan Moore for the Guardian.
EarthCam, Sept. 22, 2016
The construction of the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum of African American History & Culture, was documented by EarthCam’s Gigapixel construction camera. The work of lead designer David Adjaye, lead architect Philip Freelon, and their architectural team Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup can be enjoyed in this 106 second video showing 52 months of construction.
Posted: 21 October 2016