Contract Magazine announced the winners of its Interiors Awards for 2018 at a breakfast held in New York on January 26. The winners are featured online in the February print issue of Contract.
Among the winners is the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), by the design team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR, which won recognition in the Civic/Public category. An excerpt from Contract of text I wrote about the NMAAHC is below:
Since opening more than a year ago, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has cemented its position as a cultural landmark in Washington, D.C. Located steps away from the White House and the Washington Monument on the edge of the National Mall, the museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, connects to its greater context as it focuses on themes of resilience, movement, and memory.
The design team of Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroupJJR conceived the multilevel museum in a restrained, monochromatic palette of metals, woods, and monolithic elements. The ground-floor Heritage Hall—surrounded by 15-foot-tall floor-toceiling windows on each side—serves as both a physical and emotional transition between the lower-level history galleries and the upper-level culture and community exhibitions. At the top of a grand stair, visitors can take in an uninterrupted view of the interior’s 160-foot height. “You want to welcome people in. It needs to be open and light, in terms of perceived weight and with regard to natural light coming in,” explains Phil Freelon, who was the lead architect. Perkins+Will has since acquired Freelon’s practice, and he is now design director for the firm’s North Carolina office.
Read the full story at Contract Magazine.