Opening date announced for National Museum of African American History and Culture

by Kim Megson | 04 Feb 2016

The Smithsonian has announced the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be opened by US President Barack Obama on 24 September 2016.

The opening ceremony will be the focus of a week-long celebration, which will include a three-day festival showcasing popular music, literature, dance and film.

Construction on the David Adjaye-designed museum – which is one of CLAD’s most anticipated leisure projects for 2016 – began in Washington D.C in February 2012, almost a decade after it was first given the green light by former President George W. Bush.

“After years of hard work and dedication on the part of so many, I am thrilled that we now have the good news of the opening to share with the nation and the world,” said Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s founding director. “In a few short months visitors will walk through the doors of the museum and see that it is a place for all people.

“We are prepared to offer exhibitions and programmes to unite and capture the attention of millions worldwide. It will be a place for healing and reconciliation, a place where everyone can explore the story of America through the lens of the African American experience.”

The 400,000sq ft (37,000sq m) museum is located on a five-acre site on Constitution Avenue. The building's patterned bronze facade references the history of African American craftsmanship, and a series of openings throughout the exhibition spaces frame views of the Washington Monument and the White House. These present a view of America through the lens of the African American experience.

Exhibition galleries, an education centre, a theatre, a café and a store will be spread across nine storeys. Signature spaces are the Contemplative Court, a memorial area for reflection; the Central Hall, the primary public space in the museum; and a reflecting pool at the south entrance.

The museum will open with 11 inaugural exhibitions that will focus on broad themes of African American history, culture and community. Some of the museum’s 34,000 artefacts will be on display, including a segregation-era Southern Railway car, Michael Jackson’s fedora and a bible belonging to Nat Turner.

Adjaye Associates worked with architecture studios Freelon Group and David Brody Bond Aedas on the project, under the collective name Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup.

Clark Construction, Smoot Construction and H.J. Russell & Company worked together to build the museum.

National Museum of African American History and Culture  Smithsonian  Washington D.C  architecture  design  David Adjaye 
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The Smithsonian has announced the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be opened by US President Barack Obama on 24 September 2016. The opening ceremony will be the focus of a week-long celebration, which will include a three-day festival showcasing popular music, literature, dance and film.
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The museum will open to the public on 24 September 2016 / National Museum of African American History and Culture
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