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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“The Commission [of Fine Arts] members commended the project team for an exceptional design and program, observing that the museum will contribute to the transformation of this part of the city”

Thomas E. Luebke, US Commission of Fine Arts

The International Spy Museum forms part of RSHP’s masterplan for L’Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, and will create a new home for the privately-owned Spy Museum currently located in a 19th Century building in Penn Quarter.

As a cultural building, The International Spy Museum will generate activity and interest within a neighbourhood noted for large scale government office buildings. Consequently, the new Spy Museum will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of 10th Street, initiating and reinforcing the intentions of the National Capital Planning Committee SW Ecodistrict Plan.

Drawing its inspiration from the techniques of espionage, the building ‘hides in plain sight’. Its exhibition space is contained in a pleated 'black box', a dramatic diagonal-walled ‘box of secrets’ with opaque translucent walls, articulated by bright red fins. A glass veil, suspended by red columns, reduces glare and reflections.

The veil also encloses an atrium and ground floor lobby and circulation space – a continuation of public realm from 10th Street through to the new office buildings within the Plaza. Behind this veil, the prominent façade of the box angles out over the street and public space to one side, breaking the building line to create a disruptive landmark at the crest of 10th Street, visible from the National Mall at one end and Banneker Park at the other.

Above the double height lobby, and the three floors of exhibition and theatre space contained within the box, are two floors of set-back event space, inconspicuous from street level, with a roof terrace giving views across Washington DC’s cityscape and waterfront. Lifts will be at the back of the building, but visitors will also be able to exit the Museum box into the atrium above street level, contributing life to the façade.

The scheme received full concept approval in 2015 from the Commission of Fine Arts, which is responsible for approving the design of projects within the federal capital.

“The Commission [of Fine Arts] members commended the project team for an exceptional design and program, observing that the museum will contribute to the transformation of this part of the city”

Thomas E. Luebke, US Commission of Fine Arts

The International Spy Museum forms part of RSHP’s masterplan for L’Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, and will create a new home for the privately-owned Spy Museum currently located in a 19th Century building in Penn Quarter.

As a cultural building, The International Spy Museum will generate activity and interest within a neighbourhood noted for large scale government office buildings. Consequently, the new Spy Museum will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of 10th Street, initiating and reinforcing the intentions of the National Capital Planning Committee SW Ecodistrict Plan.

Drawing its inspiration from the techniques of espionage, the building ‘hides in plain sight’. Its exhibition space is contained in a pleated 'black box', a dramatic diagonal-walled ‘box of secrets’ with opaque translucent walls, articulated by bright red fins. A glass veil, suspended by red columns, reduces glare and reflections.

The veil also encloses an atrium and ground floor lobby and circulation space – a continuation of public realm from 10th Street through to the new office buildings within the Plaza. Behind this veil, the prominent façade of the box angles out over the street and public space to one side, breaking the building line to create a disruptive landmark at the crest of 10th Street, visible from the National Mall at one end and Banneker Park at the other.

Above the double height lobby, and the three floors of exhibition and theatre space contained within the box, are two floors of set-back event space, inconspicuous from street level, with a roof terrace giving views across Washington DC’s cityscape and waterfront. Lifts will be at the back of the building, but visitors will also be able to exit the Museum box into the atrium above street level, contributing life to the façade.

The scheme received full concept approval in 2015 from the Commission of Fine Arts, which is responsible for approving the design of projects within the federal capital.

“The Commission [of Fine Arts] members commended the project team for an exceptional design and program, observing that the museum will contribute to the transformation of this part of the city”

Thomas E. Luebke, US Commission of Fine Arts

The International Spy Museum forms part of RSHP’s masterplan for L’Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, and will create a new home for the privately-owned Spy Museum currently located in a 19th Century building in Penn Quarter.

As a cultural building, The International Spy Museum will generate activity and interest within a neighbourhood noted for large scale government office buildings. Consequently, the new Spy Museum will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of 10th Street, initiating and reinforcing the intentions of the National Capital Planning Committee SW Ecodistrict Plan.

Drawing its inspiration from the techniques of espionage, the building ‘hides in plain sight’. Its exhibition space is contained in a pleated 'black box', a dramatic diagonal-walled ‘box of secrets’ with opaque translucent walls, articulated by bright red fins. A glass veil, suspended by red columns, reduces glare and reflections.

The veil also encloses an atrium and ground floor lobby and circulation space – a continuation of public realm from 10th Street through to the new office buildings within the Plaza. Behind this veil, the prominent façade of the box angles out over the street and public space to one side, breaking the building line to create a disruptive landmark at the crest of 10th Street, visible from the National Mall at one end and Banneker Park at the other.

Above the double height lobby, and the three floors of exhibition and theatre space contained within the box, are two floors of set-back event space, inconspicuous from street level, with a roof terrace giving views across Washington DC’s cityscape and waterfront. Lifts will be at the back of the building, but visitors will also be able to exit the Museum box into the atrium above street level, contributing life to the façade.

The scheme received full concept approval in 2015 from the Commission of Fine Arts, which is responsible for approving the design of projects within the federal capital.

“The Commission [of Fine Arts] members commended the project team for an exceptional design and program, observing that the museum will contribute to the transformation of this part of the city”

Thomas E. Luebke, US Commission of Fine Arts

The International Spy Museum forms part of RSHP’s masterplan for L’Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, and will create a new home for the privately-owned Spy Museum currently located in a 19th Century building in Penn Quarter.

As a cultural building, The International Spy Museum will generate activity and interest within a neighbourhood noted for large scale government office buildings. Consequently, the new Spy Museum will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of 10th Street, initiating and reinforcing the intentions of the National Capital Planning Committee SW Ecodistrict Plan.

Drawing its inspiration from the techniques of espionage, the building ‘hides in plain sight’. Its exhibition space is contained in a pleated 'black box', a dramatic diagonal-walled ‘box of secrets’ with opaque translucent walls, articulated by bright red fins. A glass veil, suspended by red columns, reduces glare and reflections.

The veil also encloses an atrium and ground floor lobby and circulation space – a continuation of public realm from 10th Street through to the new office buildings within the Plaza. Behind this veil, the prominent façade of the box angles out over the street and public space to one side, breaking the building line to create a disruptive landmark at the crest of 10th Street, visible from the National Mall at one end and Banneker Park at the other.

Above the double height lobby, and the three floors of exhibition and theatre space contained within the box, are two floors of set-back event space, inconspicuous from street level, with a roof terrace giving views across Washington DC’s cityscape and waterfront. Lifts will be at the back of the building, but visitors will also be able to exit the Museum box into the atrium above street level, contributing life to the façade.

The scheme received full concept approval in 2015 from the Commission of Fine Arts, which is responsible for approving the design of projects within the federal capital.

Key Facts

Show Team

Team

Patricia Andres
Dennis Austin
Eleanora Bressi
Oliver Colman
Luca D'Amico
Kelly Darlington

Philip Dennis
Da Feng
Ivan Harbour
Daniel Holmes
Lennart Grut
Kinga Koren

James Leathem
Steve Martin
Chris McAnneny
Louise Palomba
James Stopps
Marc Tuitt

Hide Team

Date
2015-ongoing

Client
The Malrite Company

Location
Washington DC, USA

Gross Area
Approx 110,000sqft

Co-Architect
Hickok Cole Architects

Structural Engineer
SK&A MD

Landscape Architect
Michael Vergason Landscape Architects Ltd

Client Representative
The JBG Companies

Exhibition Design
Gallagher & Associates

Facade Engineer
Eckersley O’Callaghan