White House Visitor Center

White House Visitor Center
White House Visitor Center
White-House-Visitor-Center-08.jpg
White House Visitor Center
White House Visitor Center
White House Visitor Center

Historic spaces are educational in and of themselves. So when our team was asked to renovate the White House Visitor Center in order to create more educational and interactive opportunities, we knew that it was a matter of creatively reorganizing the space, since so many of the architectural details could speak for themselves. With a design concept that focuses on lighting and open space, we were able to provide the world with an opportunity to learn about the White House and its roles in democratic government.

Client

National Park Service and White House Historical Association

Location

Washington, D.C.

Markets/Services

Cultural, Visitor & Interpretive Centers, Historic Preservation, Architecture, Interiors, Programming, Fire Protection and Life Safety Engineering, MEP Engineering

Size

16,000 SF

Featured Awards

Merit Award in Interiors, AIA Virginia, 2015

Honor Award, AIA Maryland, 2015

View All Awards

Craftsmanship Award, Washington Building Congress, 2015

While one of its primary purposes is to provide a home for the first family, the White House isn’t just where the president resides. It is, in many ways, the center point of American politics, providing not only a rich documentation of each president’s term, but embodying the stage on which centuries of governing have transpired.

The reimagined White House Visitor Center is an effort to demonstrate this legacy; to educate the public, to connect visitors to the White House’s history, and to show the mansion in as many lights as possible — from home, to office, to museum.

White House Visitor Center

Our design for the White House Visitor Center renovation includes interpretive exhibits, a theater with a 14-minute film, a new permanent museum gallery, a temporary exhibit area, a new retail shop, and visitor information facilities.

White House Visitor Center
White House Visitor Center

Frosted white translucent plastic is used to clad the central elements for seamless integration of architecture and exhibit spaces. This maintains the distinct character of the room and brings a dialog between old and new.

White House Visitor Center

Our team made light a main consideration when redesigning the space, as our team strategically wielded it in order to both bring out the dramatic depths of the coffered ceiling to naturally show the historic building in accordance with the weather and season.

 

The Visitor Center is now able to educate and connect, not only through its newfound tools and exhibits, but through its historic architecture, pronounced now more than ever with a renovation that carefully balances history and future, local and global.