National Museum of African American History and Culture
|location||District of Columbia, Washington|
The museum was established in 2003 in legislation signed by George W. Bush. The architectural design was awarded to Freelon/Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR in 2009 and the construction firm Clarke/Smoot/Russell was selected in 2011. The museum says that the "signature space" is a water and light-filled memorial area called the Contemplative Court, where visitors are invited to reflect on the stories told within the building. A reflecting pool at the south entry is endowed with a purpose: "calm waters meant to invite all to approach." Metaphor and profound significance is crafted into the building itself, which offers a number of prismatic angles and viewpoints known as "lenses", or opportunities for visitors to view the White House and the Washington Monument, as well as other locations around the National Mall from unique framed perspectives, "a view of America through the lens of the African American Experience".