Thursday, February 12, 2015

Museum of the Bible Demolition

Museum officials, architects, contractors, and the media gathered today in a tent on Virginia Avenue to mark the start of demolition to make way for Museum of the Bible at 300 D Street. Although demolition has been underway at the site since the last tenants moved out in December, today’s ceremonial event included demolition of a portion of the building. 

According to Cary Summers, president of Museum of the Bible there are currently about 100 workers on-site, but over the coming months of demolition, that number will increase to 500-600 workers. Clark Construction will build the museum and SmithGroupJJR is the lead architect.

The 430,000 square-foot Museum of the Bible will include three exhibit floors that will tell the impact, narrative, and history of the Bible. C&G Partners, BRC Imagination Arts, and The PRD Group will be designing each of these floors, respectively, while Jonathan Martin Creative will recreate a replica of a first-century Nazareth village. There will also be exhibit space for affiliated museums and libraries as well as space for a traveling exhibit gallery. The $400 million museum project also includes a one-story addition to the adjacent Washington Office Center, adding space for the museum’s research program, which include a reference library, research labs, and an academic conference center. 

SmithGroupJJR’s design for the museum calls for the restoration of the historic building which once served as a refrigeration warehouse (and most recently as the Washington Design Center). The 1980’s-era addition to the historic building will be demolished and replaced with a new structure made of thin brick made to look like stacks of manuscripts. The front entrance to the museum will be on 4th Street and will be flanked by large bronze panels and stained glass depicting abstract biblical manuscripts. Former loading bays along D Street will be converted into large windows where passersby can see inside the museum. On the ground level, the grand lobby will have a 200-foot LED ceiling that can display a variety of images. A two-level glass enclosed rooftop gallery addition will offer views to the north of the National Mall and the Capitol. A biblical garden and restaurant will also be located here, as well as a 500-seat performing arts theater and a 500-seat ballroom. Topping off the building will be a large green roof – the museum will seek LEED certification. 

There will be two dining areas in the museum – one will be an industrial style cafĂ© on the mezzanine level overlooking the lobby that pays homage to the origins of the building’s former use as a warehouse and the second will be a restaurant offering foods of the Bible in a biblical garden setting on the rooftop gallery.

Museum of the Bible will include over 40,000 artifacts from the Green Collection, which has been collected by the Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain.

The museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. 

Renderings courtesy of SmithGroupJJR


SWag said...

this projects sounds super cool and should be a fresh addition to #SWDC

Diane said...

Great article and loved the video

patricia said...

Man! 2017 is The Year of Southwest!