There’s no better client for architects than large institutions: stable and enduring, they have the resources and motivation to make good buildings that will last. However, with a vast network of donors, stakeholders, and regulations, they can present difficult waters to navigate.
The recent unveiling of BIG‘s redesign of the Smithsonian South Campus, located on the Washington D.C. Mall, is an excellent example of how architects can best perform in institutional projects. Tasked with reinvigorating the Smithsonian’s neglected seven museums and galleries, the BIG took a slow, deliberate, and sensitive approach to the design. The payoff is tangible: not only is the project well-reasoned and thoughtful, it has so far navigated the many levels of government and internal museum review. Read on to see details of the $2 billion project!
Top Image, Rendering of the Smithsonian South Campus at Night, Courtesy the Smithsonian