The shortlist was reduced from 22 that responded to a Request for Qualifications issued last summer. The request asked for key personnel in a variety of areas such as architecture, structural engineering, landscape architecture and life safety engineering; the ability to accomplish the design of the building within the three-year time frame; establish an office within 30 miles of the museum site; and demonstrate an appreciation of African American history and culture.
In addition, the architectural firm will be expected to design an energy-efficient structure so that it can become the Smithsonian’s first museum to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first officially green building on the National Mall.
The design competition teams (in alphabetical order) are:
Devrouax & Purnell Architects/Planners, P.C, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, LLP
Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with KlingStubbins
Foster + Partners and URS
Freelon Adjaye Bond in association with SmithGroup
Moody Nolan Inc. in association with Antoine Predock Architect PC
Moshe Safdie and Associates Inc. in association with Sultan Campbell Britt & Associates
All six teams will send representatives to the Smithsonian Jan. 30 to participate in a design competition all-day orientation session during which the project will be described in more detail, and participants will receive information about the programmatic needs of the museum. Two months later, they will submit design concepts that may include models, schematics, renderings or other representations of the architects’ vision for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The design submissions will be on public display in the Smithsonian Castle later in the spring.
Costs for the design, construction and exhibition installations for the Museum will be shared equally between Congress and the Smithsonian. Construction of the building, which will be about the same size as the National Museum of the American Indian, is expected to begin in 2012 and open to the public in 2015.