Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
It was announced last week that The Smithsonian is planning a 20-year plan to redesign the south side of their campus. The project will cost $2 billion, which will come from a combination of federal and private funds. With the help of Bjarke Ingels Group and their team of architects, the Smithsonian hopes the area will become a more inviting place and those museums will be more accessible to the public eye. The renovations will also be environmentally friendly by reducing CO2 emission and energy costs.
Although the Smithsonian is technically not expanding, just renovating and reinventing, this news reminded me of the discussions we’ve been having about growth. While reading this, I kept coming back to the fact that this project is 20 years long. The actual reconstruction will not take 20 years long, but a lot can happen in that 20 years of planning and implementation. Do you think time will affect this project at all? Personally, I’m assuming that a lot can change in 20 years, whether that is externally (socially, politically, economically, etc.) or internally (within the institution of the Smithsonian). I’m hoping the committee will be prepared enough to adapt to any possible changes that might influence their plans.
I’m curious to hear everyone’s thoughts about this project. How do you think this project will influence the cultural life of D.C.?
Also, be sure to browse through the digital pictures of the finished project!