Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Door ManufacturerDawson Metal Company, Inc.
Architectural Ultra High Performance Concrete PanelsTaktl
ManufacturersSherwin-Williams Coil Coatings
Torsion Spring Ceiling System, Panel finishPure + FreeForm
ManufacturersINTERPANE
Green RoofSempergreen®

Product Spec Sheet
Architectural Ultra High Performance Concrete Panels
Torsion Spring Ceiling System, Panel finish
Manufacturers
Green Roof

National Museum of African American History

Adjaye Associates as Architects

One of the signature spaces is the museum is the Contemplative Court. The structure features a glass oculus that at once allows in natural light and offers a cascading waterfall, allowing for quiet reflection. The ceiling required a somber elegance, as well as gloss to reflect the delicate movement of the water, but natural materials were out of the question due to weight, UV degradation, and maintenance. The final finish, a mid-gloss blackened copper with green flecks, was additionally perforated to capture the differing light sources and allowing the participant to gaze upward in thought.


More from the Manufacturer:


Winning the competition to design the National Museum of African American History

and Culture has consolidated the practice’s US portfolio with arguably the nation’s most prestigious new building. Located on Constitution Avenue, adjacent to the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument, the museum houses exhibit galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space for the NMAAHC. As Lead Designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB)* team, Sir David Adjaye’s approach has been to establish both a meaningful relationship to this unique site as well as a strong conceptual resonance with America’s deep and longstanding African heritage. The design rests on three cornerstones: the “corona” shape of the building; the extension

of the building out into the landscape – the porch; and the bronze filigree envelope. 


Situated on the Washington Monument grounds the museum maintains a subtle profile in the landscape – more than half is below ground – with five storeys above. The corona is based on elements of the Washington Monument, closely matching the 17-degree angle of the capstone and the panel size and pattern has been developed using the Monument stones as a reference. The entire building is wrapped in an ornamental bronze lattice that is a historical reference to African American craftsmanship. The density of the pattern can be modulated to control the amount of sunlight and transparency into the interior. The south entry is composed of the Porch and a central water feature. An extension of the building out into the landscape, the porch creates an outdoor room that bridges the gap between the interior and exterior.


At 50m (49’-2”) deep, the setback is similar to other buildings on the north side of the Mall. The underside of the porch roof is tilted upward allowing reflection of the moving water below. This covered area creates a microclimate where breezes combine with the cooling waters to generate a place of refuge from the hot summer sun. There is also an outdoor patio on the porch rooftop that is accessed from a mezzanine level within the building. 


Inside the building, visitors are guided on a historical and emotional journey, characterised by vast, column free spaces, a dramatic infusion of natural light and a diverse material palette comprising pre-cast concrete, timber and a glazed skin that sits within the bronze lattice. Below ground, the ambience is contemplative and monumental, achieved by the triple height history gallery and symbolised by the memorial space – the “oculus” – that brings light diffused by a cascade of water into the contemplative space from the Monument grounds. Moving upwards, the views become pivotal, as one circulates along the corona with unrivalled panoramas of the Mall, Federal Triangle buildings and Monument Grounds.


*Adjaye Associates was the Lead Designer of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. As such, the firm was responsible for developing the design concept, both interior and exterior, and for designing all major components of the building. Freelon Group served as architect of record while DavisBrodyBond and SmithGroupJRR were members of the architectural team, providing detailing support for the below grade and façade elements, respectively.

Bendheim’s Custom Glass Illuminates New Museum of African American History and Culture

Bendheim as Custom glass illuminates

The Contemplative Court, one of the key attractions at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, features a one-of-a-kind, copper-bronze Bendheim architectural glass. Developed and produced exclusively for the museum, the metallic glass creates a sense of luminosity and warmth, contributing to the serenity and elegance of the space.

Caption

As the latest addition to the National Mall, the new museum pays homage to African American art, tradition, history, and culture. Defined by sweeping walls of custom Bendheim glass, the Contemplative Court serves as a space for pause and reflection, providing visitors an opportunity to process the weight of the museum’s contents.

Bendheim faced major challenges in the creation of a glass that needed to meet the highly sensitive needs of this museum. The glass had to display a subtle luminosity and a balance of opacity and translucency while providing sound control and safety.

Caption

Bendheim collaborated with lead architects at Adjaye Associates, lead designers for the museum, and Davis Brody Bond to conceptualize and produce the glass. The company’s design team created multiple glass types over the last three years, as the architectural concept evolved.

 

Through all the communications, and all the samples, a glass with a core of specialized bronze-metallic mesh brought the architects’ vision to light. The luminous bronze colored walls of semi-transparent glass separate museum gallery traffic from the Court, where visitors can quietly contemplate what they have viewed. The laminated glass offers enhanced safety and sound control. The resulting “quiet” aesthetic contributes to the design objective – to promote reconciliation and healing.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings as Manufacturers

Exploring the Composition

The Corona: This iconic building form pays homage to the nearby Washington Monument, closely matching the nearly 17-degree angle of the capstone while using the Monument’s stones as a reference for the NMAAHC panel proportion and pattern. Reaching toward the sky, the bronze clad corona is said to expresses faith, hope and resiliency.

“The bronze colored plates and glass-panel façade that make up the Corona is a representation of traditional African architecture using modern materials and will visually define the museum,” said Matt Wurster from Clark Construction Group, one of the general contractors for the project.

The Porch: An outdoor room that bridges the gap between the interior and exterior of the building, this feature also unites the structure with its natural surroundings. The underside of the porch roof is tilted upward, allowing for a reflection of the moving water below. This covered area creates a microclimate where breezes combine with the cooling waters to generate a place of refuge from the hot summer sun.

The Filigree: Bronze colored panels cover the tiered exterior of the building, perforated in patterns that reference the history of African American craftsmanship. Each of the 3,600 customized, bronze-colored, cast-aluminum panels reflect the design of ironwork by enslaved craftsmen in Charleston and New Orleans. The density of the pattern varies to control the amount of sunlight and transparency allowed into the interior, and the bronze color stands in stark contrast to the building’s marble and limestone neighbors.

The bronze wash of the metal panels was a monumental component of the design. Lead project manager Zena Howard AIA, of Perkins+Will explained that the color choice was discussed over the course of many years with all parties involved in the design process. Ultimately, bronze was selected as the team determined it would remain “an enduring and permanent color that would command respect for the building and the exhibits housed inside.”

“This was truly a one of a kind job and something that I have never experienced before in my career with Sherwin-Williams [Valspar]. The finished product is simultaneously consistent and dynamic in the way that it looks." 

JUAN CAMPOS

Account Executive, Sherwin-Williams

 

The bronze wash of the metal panels was a monumental component of the design. Lead project manager Zena Howard AIA, of Perkins+Will explained that the color choice was discussed over the course of many years with all parties involved in the design process. Ultimately, bronze was selected as the team determined it would remain “an enduring and permanent color that would command respect for the building and the exhibits housed inside.”

Once the final color idea was identified, the new challenge of obtaining the perfect hue began. Three custom shades, African Sunset, African Sunrise and African Rose, and one standard shade of Black Sherwin-Williams Fluropon coating were used on these massive aluminum panels, each weighing around 200 pounds and stretching 4 by 5 feet.

“The color-matching period lasted for more than 18 months because we were looking for depth even more than just color since the panels were so intricate and unique,” said Del Stephens, president and CEO of Dura Industries, who served as the project’s metal panel applicators.

Each panel that was custom cast by Morel Industries was finished with five different coating layers, each a different color of the Fluropon coating, to achieve the exact bronze shade desired by the design team. Eventually, the final color was created and earned the name of “Artisan 3.5.” The individual coatings needed to hold their color across every layer on the panels, as each new additional color is built off of the last to create the final shade. Sherwin-Williams Fluropon was the best product for this complicated job due to its durability and color retention, which will help showcase the vivid color for many years.

Extensive testing was done during the coating application process due to the sheer size of the panels, and because of the intricate design already cut into each piece. The coating was applied entirely by hand from the team at Dura Industries and each color layer was carefully inspected to make sure every part of the coating process was on track. The question arose as to whether or not this process could be replicated for the 3,600 panels, and Dura Industries answered with a resounding yes. The team worked furiously to finish the panels in an identical fashion and ship them from the workstation in Portland to the project site in Washington D.C. After a bit of back and forth, the panels and their many layers of custom colors were approved and were deemed ready for installation. “What we ended up with gave us the look of real bronze, a luminous feeling that created a dynamic and beautiful façade,” said Howard. The first panels went up in April of 2015, and the build process moved forward rapidly over the ensuing months.

“The installation process went very smoothly,” said Marty Antos, project manager at Northstar Contracting overseeing the installation process, despite the unusualness of the project. “This was a completely new way of installing panels, as the building is almost inside-out, with the glass on the inside and the ornamental structures, the metal panels, on the outside,” said Antos. The panels were installed within 6 weeks on the project site, but the assembly process took a bit longer, spanning more than one year due to the amount of materials coming to Cleveland from across the nation, including castings from Seattle, steel frames from New Jersey and aluminum extrusions from Missouri.

“This was truly a one of a kind job and something that I have never experienced before in my career with Sherwin-Williams [Valspar]," said Juan Campos, Account Executive from Sherwin-Williams. “The finished product is simultaneously consistent and dynamic in the way that it looks."

The filigree is an eye-catching adornment that both draws visitors in and sets the stage for the rest of the guest’s journey throughout the museum. It combines polish, artistry, creativity and persistence, just like the art, history, and culture memorialized within the building. The museum itself is a work of art, one that stands out among the historic structures to its left and right, and will act as a physical representation of the historical past of African Americans.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 18, 2016. Valspar was acquired by The Sherwin-Williams Company on June 1, 2017.

Metal cladding

Pure + FreeForm as Torsion Spring Ceiling System, Panel finish

One of the signature spaces is the museum is the Contemplative Court. The structure features a glass oculus that at once allows in natural light and offers a cascading waterfall, allowing for quiet reflection. The ceiling required a somber elegance, as well as gloss to reflect the delicate movement of the water, but natural materials were out of the question due to weight, UV degradation, and maintenance. The final finish, a mid-gloss blackened copper with green flecks, was additionally perforated to capture the differing light sources and allowing the participant to gaze upward in thought.


More from the Manufacturer:


Pure + Freeform is an architectural metal design studio specializing in bespoke finishes and cladding products for exterior and interior applications.


Their custom metal panels bridge the gap between accessibility, beauty, and relevance.


Pure + FreeForm’s studio works closely with each project’s design team to produce site-specific finishes and systems for metal cladding applications. Through their custom metal cladding products, their vision is to create destinations recognized globally for their inspiring, contextual, purposeful designs.

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd as Architects

The landscape design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture situates the NMAAHC within the context of the Washington Monument Grounds as an object in a field, drawing the open, pastoral nature of the Washington Monument grounds through the Museum site. The design establishes the site as integral to the story of the museum with spaces that embody both a metaphorical and physical narrative. The experience of the site begins the narrative procession of the museum, with symbolic crossings over water through a landscape that is both continuous and sequential, layered around and through architectural spaces with the presence of water as a constant and dynamic companion throughout the journey.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American

We-ef as Lighting

History in a new light

WE-EF illuminates the pathways around the new, fascinating National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is also the nineteenth Smithsonian museum, is entirely dedicated to Afro-American life, culture and difficult history. The building houses a collection comprising more than 36,000 pieces on 37,000 square metres in a prominent location between the obelisk of the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History at the National Mall.


Four architectural offices were involved in the construction. Under the leadership of the Freelon Group, a unique building was created that extends 30 metres underground with a striking "Corona" envelope above it. The facade, with each storey projecting diagonally upwards, consists of filigree, openwork and bronze-coloured coated metal elements that create an aura at night when light shines out through the lattice.


Light and landscape

The open space around the museum plays an important role; the planners from the participating SmithGroup say that this was to make it as accessible as possible. This principle is demonstrated by the paved paths that lead around the building,which is surrounded by lawns, and allow a leisurely approach.


The lighting concept for these pathways takes on various aspects. First, it is important to ensure the safety of visitors and pedestrians with precise illumination. At the same time, the light must not cause glare in any of the different lines of sight or detract from the impression of the architecture. From an aesthetic point of view, it is essential that the design of the luminaires, the surfaces and the poles harmonises with the architecture. Finally, the lighting concept must meet the highest efficiency requirements, in line with theLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)Gold building certification.


Atmospheric pathway lighting

The installed WE-EF RFL540 LED street and area lighting luminaires meet precisely the above requirements. Fitted with CAD-optimised [S70] lenses made of PMMA, they produce an asymmetric, uniform light distribution, and direct the light to exactlywhere it is needed. An additional requirement of the lighting designers at FMS Fisher Marantz Stone was the colour rendering of the light source. The LEDs used have a colour temperature of 3000K, matched to the bronze shine of the façade and the warm colour of the paving stones.


A special stamp motif

Because the museum is of outstanding importance for the United States of America, it has now found its way onto a stamp. Since October 2017, the museum has served as a motif for a "Forever Stamp". Ever since 2007, the postal service has regularly issued such special postage stamps, which – as the name suggests – do not expire even when the price of postage increases, i.e., they can be used virtually "forever".


National Museum of African American History

Dawson Metal Company, Inc. as Door Manufacturer

Since opening in September of 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (of the Smithsonian Institution), has been averaging over two million visitors entering its doors each year. Dawson was commissioned to bring its craftsmanship to what would become a high-traffic, prize-winning construction.

An Ultra Narrow Stile Balanced door would be the Dawson custom solution for crafting a door that is both beautiful in design, and one with a high quality, resilient build. The result was the door and frame construction of the building’s North entry, South East and South West vestibules.

To create an impactful first impression on the NMAAHC, Dawson developed and constructed an Ultra Narrow Stile entrance, distinguished by a very narrow vertical sightline, creating a sophisticated glass door for the museum. 

When dealing with new construction in which high-traffic is expected, the most resilient of materials are the expectation, and Dawson’s expert metal work would deliver. Dawson fabricated using a corrosion-resistant .090” thick #280 alloy Muntz metal as the main material, a form of alpha-beta brass with an approximate composition of 60 percent copper, 40 percent zinc, and a trace of iron.

To finish, the doors were factory-glazed with an exposed hinge tube and a #4 satin grained applied finish.

Using the Dawson solid modeling package, the finished entrances were able to meet the strict build tolerances, building codes and ADA guidelines, all the while meeting high customer expectations.

The Dawson team is proud to have collaborated with another world-class architectural masterpiece that is the NMAAHC. The building was the recipient of a 2019 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture.

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