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National Museum of African History & Culture Architect Named

I am pleased to announce we have chosen Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup as the architectural team to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The selection was made by a design competition jury chaired by NMAAHC Director Lonnie G. Bunch III. Freelon Adjaye Bond was one of 22 teams that responded to the Request for Qualifications in summer 2008. The six firms selected to participate in the design competition were announced in January; their models have recently been on exhibition in the Castle. The teams competition entry represents a design concept, not a completed building. Freelon Adjaye Bond said in its design concept materials, The National Museum of African American History and Culture—the institution and the building—embodies the African American spirit. Majestic yet exuberant, dignified yet triumphant, the building will be worthy of the Museums vision and its prominent place on the National Mall. Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup consists of four impressive firms that have joined together for our project—The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup. The Freelon Group will be the architect of record and Phil Freelon will serve as the design guarantor, making sure the design reflects the values and priorities of the Museum and the Smithsonian. The Freelon Group designed the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore. David Adjaye will be the lead designer; he designed the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Davis Brody Bond is involved in the planning, design and execution of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center in New York. The SmithGroup is an international architectural and engineering firm that designed the Normandy American Cemetery Interpretive Center in France. During the design phase, the Institution will seek approval from the National Capital Planning Commission and continue to consult with other Washington, D.C., agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service and the National Coalition to Save Our Mall. It will take up to three years to design the building; construction will begin in 2012. NMAAHC is scheduled to open in 2015, with a total cost estimated at $500 million, including design. I want to thank the members of the jury for their fine work on this design competition, which has moved us a major step closer to realizing the Smithsonians newest museum. · Mike Bellamy, P.E., Director, Smithsonians Office of Engineering, Design and Construction· Lonnie G. Bunch III (jury chair), Director, NMAAHC· Robert Campbell, Architecture Critic, Boston Globe· Maurice Cox, Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts· James A. Johnson, member of the museums council, Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC and former Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae· Robert Kogod, member of Smithsonian Board of Regents, chair of the Boards facilities committee and President of Charles E. Smith Management LLC· Sheryl Kolasinski, AIA, Director, Smithsonians Office of Planning and Project Management· Franklin D. Raines, member of the museums council, former Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae and former Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget· Linda Johnson Rice, co-chair of the museums council and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company Inc. (publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines)· Ad?le Naud? Santos, Dean of the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Principal Architect for the San Francisco-based firm, Santos Prescott and Associates Congratulations to Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup. I am looking forward to seeing NMAAHC evolve from concept to final design in the coming months. Sincerely,G. Wayne CloughSecretary
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