Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture – Washington, D.C.

Washington, DC

Client: Smithsonian Institution

Size: 400,000 sq. ft.

Project value: $367M

Completion date: September 2016

Awards: 2015 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Cast-in-Place Concrete (Clark Concrete) 2016 WBC Craftsmaship Award - Exterior Glass 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Lighting Systems 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Power Geneartion, Distribution & Switchgear 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Specialty Painting 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Ornamental Metals 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Structural Steel 2016 WBC Craftsmanship Award - Structural Steel 2016 WBC Star Award - Excellence in the Face of Adversity


In collaboration with joint venture partners Clark Construction and Smoot Construction, Russell provided construction management services to build the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The museum is located on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC and is a centerpiece venue for ceremonies and performances, as well as a primary exhibition space for African-American history and culture. Designed by a joint venture of Freelon Adjaye Bond and SmithGroup, the 400,000-sq. ft. facility looks unlike any other structure on the Mall. The bronze and glass-panel facade, known as the Corona, is a representation of traditional African architecture using modern materials and visually defines the museum.

The Corona hangs from the top of the museum with no intermediate support. The museum’s five above-grade levels will be supported by four concrete towers linked at the top by steel trusses. Below grade, the project includes three cast-in-place concrete levels: a mechanical level, a concourse level, and a mezzanine level. The museum is designed to achieve LEED® Gold certification. Sustainable elements will include solar hot water panels on the roof and a geothermal ground water system.