Leo A. Daly III, president of A/E Leo A. Daly of Omaha, Neb., recently presented a model of the new Pope John Paul II Cultural Center to the pope himself during a private meeting in Vatican City in Rome, Italy. The center is currently under construction on a wooded, 12-acre site in Washington, D.C.
The 100,000-sq.-ft., four-story building is designed as an open, welcoming structure visually representative of its mission to encourage visitors to explore their experiences of faith and culture. Exhibits will be housed on three floors and will vary from displays of Vatican treasures to interactive shows. A series of gently sloping, translucent walkways will connect the exhibits. A center of research and teaching for scholars will be located on the top floor.
"Reviewing the model gave His Holiness his first opportunity to see the building's final design and he seemed very pleased," says Daly.
The center will open to the public in March 2001.