Gold Award: The Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum is a story of historical and construction resolve.
This much-ballyhooed project, which sits on the last available lot within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was first conceived 100 years ago. Its 56-month realization involved three GCs, four architects, more than 30 consultants, 200 subcontractors, and 5,000 craft workers.
At almost every turn, the Building Team for the National Museum of African American History and Culture faced obstacles, not the least being the District of Columbia’s high water table. Three-fifths of the museum is below grade, and its construction entailed a 70-foot-deep excavation of 350,000 cubic yards of dirt. The Building Team developed a support-of-excavation system that could withstand water pressure of 37,000 pounds per sf.