It only took the Almighty seven days, but it’ll take man until 2017 to create DC’s HUGE eight-story, 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible, that broke ground this morning just three blocks from the U.S.Capitol.
Formerly a refrigeration warehouse and interior design showcase site, a collection of construction and design teams — led by Clark Construction for building and SmithGroupJJR on architectural design — will restore, adapt and enhance the combined space into a museum. $400 million is earmarked for construction.
Prominent construction and design features of Museum of the Bible will include:
- Three permanent exhibit floors that will tell the impact, narrative and history of the Bible
- A grand lobby with a wall-to-wall, 200-foot LED ceiling that displays a moving canvas of infinite visual possibilities
- A two-story, window-clad, rooftop galley providing a 500-seat performing-arts theater, garden restaurant and 500-seat ballroom overlooking the National Mall and U.S. Capitol
- A front entrance on 4th Street SW flanked by massive, textured bronze panels and stained glass depicting abstract biblical manuscripts, created by a museum-commissioned German artist
- 20,000 square feet for exhibits from affiliated museums and libraries (yet to be announced) and an additional 10,000 square feet for a special traveling exhibit gallery
- A one-story rooftop addition to the neighboring office complex to house the museum’s artifact research program, including a 20,000-square-foot reference library, research labs and an academic conference center
- The building’s 1923 original red-brick masonry, classical features and exterior ornamentation restored to their original condition and new, handmade brickwork imported from Denmark
Located at the intersection of D and 4th Streets in the capital’s southwestern quadrant, the museum’s primary building has been awarded historical status by D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board.
Content for the museum’s permanent exhibit floors is still being designed and refined by a team of scholars, consultants and other experts. Additional details, including the announcement of museum partnerships and technological innovations for the guest experience, will be announced at a later time.