Queue length: 0

Note: Maximum image size is 5 MB

Please make sure you have permission to upload the photo. Only images you own, are explicitly labeled as "public domain" or have a CCO licence may be uploaded. Please complete all the fields to the right.

Drop files here

Photo License

You must select a photo license. For more information on licenses see:

CC BY-SA 4.0
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 2.5
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY 4.0
CC BY 3.0
CC BY 2.5
CC BY 2.0
FeaturedImageStatusPhoto License

National Museum of African American History and Culture


National Museum of African American History and Culture, Constitution Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC, USA

Project Overview
Project Name: National Museum of African American History and Culture
Date Completed: 2016
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Project Status: Complete

Project Tags: structural building

Project Team

Disciplines That Worked on Project

Civil Engineer: Construction ManagementCivil Engineer: GeotechnicalCivil Engineer: Structural (Building structures)Civil Engineer: Structural (Underground infrastructure)Civil Engineer: Water (Flood study)Electrical EngineerMaterials EngineerArchitect

Project Details
About this project
The National Museum of African American History and Culture building is a unique, award-winning building located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The building was designed to incorporate African aspects, such as the coated aluminum facade (looks like bronze) with an abstract pattern based on ironwork created by freed slaves."The Story behind the design of the African American history museum," The Washington Post. September 15, 2016. Available: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/the-story-behind-the-design-of-the-african-american-history-museum/2016/09/14/e08b1b4e-4ddb-11e6-a422-83ab49ed5e6a_story.html Downloaded December 2, 2019

The building is also unique because the majority of it is underground (so it would not obstruct other views on the National Mall). This required a 70-foot deep excavation. The above ground structure is three up-side-down pyramids. The building is held up with four steel/cement structural cores, so no columns are needed in the building area.Rising above adversity: National Museum of African American History and Culture," Building Design + Construction, June 7, 2017. Available https://www.bdcnetwork.com/rising-above-adversity-national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture Downloaded December 2, 2019
Who benefits from this project, and how?
Visitors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture benefit from this project. The museum was designed to be a community resource that helps visitors learn about the lives, history, and culture of African Americans.
Environmental considerations
The building, which is largely underground, is in a floodprone area. To protect the building during a 100-year flood, there is an automated floodgate and a series of cisterns that collect and store stormwater."How the Smithsonian Prepares for Hurricanes and Flooding," Smithsonian Magazine, September 14, 2018. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-smithsonian-preps-hurricanes-and-flooding-180970294. Accessed December 2, 2019 During a 500-year flood they will need to manually install panels and sandbags to protect the building."With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding," MPR, December 20, 2013. Available at https://www.npr.org/2013/12/26/255847303/with-national-treasures-at-risk-d-c-fights-against-flooding. Accessed December 2, 2019

The building is LEED Gold"The Building: African American life, history, and culture explored in Washington D.C.'" Smithsonian. Available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/building. Accessed December 2, 2019.

Funding & Costs
Project cost: $$$$$
Funding notes: Cost was $413 million"Rising above adversity: National Museum of African American History and Culture," Building Design + Construction, June 7, 2017. Available at: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/rising-above-adversity-national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture. Accessed December 2, 2019

More Projects

RePicture.com was created by RePicture Engineering, PBC, a Public Benefit Corporation. The site provides career advice for all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. With RePicture you can discover careers shaping the future. Learn about engineering projects, meet STEM role models, find companies with engineering job openings, and become part of the STEM community.


Copyright All Rights Reserved © 2017.

Privacy and Terms / Beta Tester Agreement

Congratulations! Your project is ready to publish.
Thank you for helping to keep this site positive.
Congratulations! This project page now belongs to you.