Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 19

FEATURE

museums

PROJECT CREDITS
* SmithGroupJJR, Washington-architectural design, MEP and
fire-protection engineering, general lighting design

*
*
*
*

Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, MD-general contractor
Tadjer Cohen Edelson, Silver Spring, MD-structural engineer
EHT Traceries, Washington-historic resources
Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Alexandria, VA-landscape

architecture

* The PRD Group Ltd, Chantilly, VA; BRC Imagination Arts, Los Angeles; C&G
Partners LLC, New York; Jonathan Martin Creative Inc., College Grove, TN;
DyMoRides GmbH,Vienna, Austria; Design and Production Inc., Lorton, VA;
Maltbie, a kubik company, Mt. Laurel, NJ; Technomedia Solutions LLC, New
York-exhibit designers and fabricators

* Artist Larry Kirkland, Washington, collaborated with SmithGroupJJR to
develop several large-scale art elements including the Gutenberg Gates, the
entry art glass, and the marginalia experienced throughout the building.

and the historic structure's original train portal was reopened to serve as the museum's
monumentally scaled entrance. An additional two levels of new construction were built
above the remaining historic structure to house a 472-seat performing-arts hall, gathering
space, biblical-foods restaurant, and additional exhibit spaces.
At mid-block, a non-historical building addition with loading dock was removed to
make way for two levels of below-grade space and new vertical circulation for the museum. The Museum of the Bible organization also purchased the air rights to the adjacent
Washington Office Center where a one-story addition above the building was constructOpposite page. The World Stage Theater, a 472-seat performance theater, provides a unique experience for
museum visitors. The theater takes its shape from the flowing fabric of a tabernacle tent. The rippled ribbons
surrounding the house of the theater hide lighting and projectors that provide an immersive 3D-mapped projection experience. Photo: Alan Karchmer, courtesy Museum of the Bible

ed to provide space for a conference and educational facility for scholars associated with

Above. Upon entry, visitors are greeted by a soaring digital-arcade ceiling that stretches 140 ft. in length and is
15 ft. wide. The kaleidoscope-like feature comprises 555 LED panels. Photo: Alan Karchmer, courtesy Museum
of the Bible

Bronze-embossed Gutenberg Gate,s standing 40-ft. tall, flank the structure's main en-

the museum's research arm, Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, as well as residences
for visiting scholars.
The main museum building is designed to inspire a sense of history and wonder.
trance where trains once entered the building. A dynamic, 140-ft.-long LED display hovers above the museum's arcade entrance, bathing the lobby in a colorful array of images
and light. The museum's lobby floor, which features marble from Portugal and Tunisia,
and is complemented by columns of Jerusalem stone, symbolizes a journey from darkness

than a decade to bring to life, including years of planning, design, and construction. Even
as design and construction methodologies have evolved, the delivery timelines for modern facilities have remained relatively unchanged until this project.

to light.
Throughout the building, motifs and elements speak to the existing structure's history
and to the museum's content. The new mid-block section of the project is clad on its two

Washington-based firms SmithGroupJJR (smithgroupjjr.com) and Clark Construc-

exterior faces in custom-textured, handmade bricks from Denmark. These façades com-

tion Group (clarkconstruction.com) led design and construction operations on the

plement the ancient masonry and architectural language of the adjacent historic structure

$254-million, 430,000-sq.-ft. facility, and worked with museum leaders, engineers, exhib-

while evoking a sense of overwriting, or Biblical palimpsest, where a page is wiped clean

it design teams, and academic scholars to drive an integrated, collaborative process. Bring-

in order to re-use it while traces of old writing are still left behind.

ing museum stakeholders together early and often was fundamental to creating a team

A rooftop addition over the original building, with its curvilinear glass-and-metal en-

environment. The approach promoted unity, fostered problem solving, and accelerated

velope, visible structural ribs, fritted insulated glass units, and dramatic prow projecting

decision making and project delivery.

over the entry façade, is a bold architectural and urban gesture in its own right, evoking
an ancient boat or scroll that further helps merge the building's form and function. This

ICONIC DESIGN

iconic element-known as the Galley-spans 250 ft. and stretches 40 ft. tall from the fifth

To house the many programmatic elements required for this new institution, additions

floor of the museum to the roof and provides visitors with stunning views of the Nation-

and renovations were made to three existing structures sitting on an entire city block. The

al Mall and major Washington landmarks.

existing warehouse's original red-brick masonry and concrete were retained and restored,

Making the asymmetrical glass rooftop a reality required several innovative solutions
commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

JUNE 2018

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture June 2018

Museums Evolve To Remain Relevant
Museum Blends Biblical History And Technology
The Architects
Showcase
Index
Portfolio
HVAC & Plumbing
Interiors
Lighting & Electrical
Exteriors
Windows & Doors
Building Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 1
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 2
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 3
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 4
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 5
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 7
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Museums Evolve To Remain Relevant
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 9
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 10
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 11
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 12
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 13
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 14
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 15
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 16
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 17
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Museum Blends Biblical History And Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 19
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 20
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 21
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 22
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 23
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - HVAC & Plumbing
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 25
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 26
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 27
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 28
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 29
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 30
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 31
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Interiors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 35
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 36
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 37
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 38
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 39
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 40
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Lighting & Electrical
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 42
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 43
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 44
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 45
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 46
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 47
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 48
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Exteriors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 50
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 51
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 52
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 53
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 54
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 55
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 56
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Windows & Doors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 58
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 59
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 60
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Building Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 62
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 63
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Index
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Portfolio
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover3
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover4
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