AIA Presents:
Location:Washington, DC
Architect:Gyo Obata, FAIA; Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum
Year Built:1976
Fact:Houses the first successful airplane, the Wright 1903 Flyer.

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National Museum of Air & Space
Rate: starstarstarstarstar Votes: 25

National Museum of Air & Space

Gyo Obata’s National Museum of Air and Space has been likened to an elegant airplane hangar. The building’s National Mall face is made up of monolithic blocks of the same pink Tennessee marble used on the National Gallery West and East buildings. The blocks are connected by a bronze glass rectangle that runs the entire length of the building. The structure successfully blends classical and modern elements.

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In one sense, it is one of the most pure museum experiences that I know of, because the architecture really doesn’t get in the way.

David Fixler, FAIA, LEED AP
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The Fine Arts Commission has always felt obligated to keep things in check. But even if they hadn’t existed I would submit that architects who worked on the Mall would do that to themselves, would feel intimidated in the presence of what the Mall is really a representation of. It’s a hard go to be an architect for a building on the Mall, Fine Arts Commission not withstanding.

Stanley Tigerman, FAIA
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...it is as though we ran out of attic space a long time ago so someone decided to rent a lot of storage containers. We have these enormous storage containers on the mall and it is terrific to walk inside them because it’s just a jumble of all this high-tech material, all of these discoveries and inventions that have helped us defy the law of gravity.

Gary Wolf, AIA
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It actually does function like an airline hangar. The west wall does roll away to allow them to move in and out the large-scale exhibits.

Jess Wendover, Assoc. AIA, AICP, LEED-AP
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