When it comes to real estate, it's all about location, location, location. That's a factor it's safe to say the , the Smithsonian Institution's newest entity, has down on lock.
It's likely to be the last museum constructed on D.C.'s National Mall and – considering plans for the museum have been in the works for – all eyes are on architect David Adjaye as the space prepares to open September 24.
"I envision it [the museum] as a human posture," Adjaye told in 2012. "The form of the building suggests a very upward mobility. It's a ziggurat that moves upward into the sky, rather than downward into the ground." The zig-zag silhouette is based on Yoruba tribal motifs, and it's important to note that the structure appears to hover above the ground – Adjaye's nod to the way that African-Americans have overcome obstacles in this country, lifting up America with their sacrifices in the process.
Then there are the metal panels of the building itself, which reports are inspired by 19th-century artisans' decorative ironwork. In fact, Adjaye told that the panels reference the transition freed slaves made to professional guilds – in particular, the ironworking guilds of Charleston and New Orleans.
"I've tried to make every decision here have some history," Adjaye said.