Museum of the American Revolution

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under construction, completion 2016

The Museum of the American Revolution, anchoring the eastern end of Independence National Historical Park, is designed to introduce visitors to the American Revolution with its extraordinary collection of historical artifacts and contemporary interpretations demonstrating the continued worldwide importance of the Revolution.

Set amidst buildings of national and architectural significance—facing the First Bank of the United States (Samuel Blodgett, 1795), near William Strickland's Merchant's Exchange (1834) and the U.S. Custom House (Ritter & Shay, 1934)—the Museum will carry forward the restrained Classicism that heralded the birth of the Republic. The Museum will address the corner of Chestnut and Third Streets with a broad plaza and an inviting, bronze-domed entrance with a stone tympanum above.  A museum shop and café that opens to the sidewalk will enliven the Third Street facade; above, the wall that conceals the galleries will be articulated with recessed brick arches, accented with stone at the spring points and keystones, which will house stone apsidal niches.   On Chestnut Street, a bronze bay window will look into the lobby and be flanked by two bas-relief panels depicting John Trumbull's painting Declaration of Independence.

Our design organizes the Museum around a skylit central interior court. The ground floor will accommodate a multi-use theater and a changing exhibition gallery. Within the court a grand elliptical stair will take visitors up to 18,000 square feet of galleries and a theater dedicated to the exhibition of George Washington's marquee tent, one of the Museum's most dramatic holdings. A light monitor rendered in Alabama limestone will emphasize the Museum's verticality and flood third floor event space intended for conferences, symposia, and social events with light; two broad terraces overlooking the First Bank will command views to Independence Hall and the modern-day Philadelphia skyline. The Museum will provide state-of-the-art storage and conservation spaces, following best practices for sustainable museum design to target LEED Silver certification.

RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern Kevin Smith, and Alexander Lamis are leading the design.

Press: Period Homes, November 2012.

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