smithsonian institution – arts and industries building

The Arts and Industries Building (AIB), designed by Cluss and Schulze built from 1879 and 1881, is the predecessor to the entire family of Smithsonian Institution (SI) museums and an example of nineteenth century exposition hall design. The design strategy is to restore the glory of the building while treating critical upgrades as modern exhibition elements celebrating a historic timeline of technology. At the outset, the design focused on four major goals:

  • To maximize retention and preservation of the historic fabric.
  • To insure the interface between remaining historic fabric and modern elements are clear.
  • To invest in important modern elements with visual presence beyond simple function.
  • To provide new infrastructure systems as modern elements.
  • Minimize the visual impact on the historic fabric.

washington d.c.
institutional – master planning – museum
exposition hall
170,000 sq ft

team: Wm. Jack T. Phillips AIA
w/The Polshek Partnership (+ Tobey Davis)