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Smithsonian Museum uses color to highlight heritage

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Smithsonian Museum uses color to highlight heritage

Jeff Alexander | October 11, 2017
The Smithsonian Museum
The Smithsonian Museum

Located in the last available spot in the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is an architectural marvel. This iconic landmark houses approximately 33,000 pieces of artwork and historical objects and uses color to explore the past, present, and future of the African American experience.

The design process involved bringing talented minds together to create something truly unique. David Adjaye, Philip Freelon, and their architectural team won an international competition in 2009 to design the museum and create a vivid visitor experience that brings in elements from Africa and the African diaspora.



“The bronze colored plates and glass-panel façade that make up the corona is a representation of traditional African architecture using modern materials and will visually define the museum,” says Matt Wurster, a senior project manager with Clark Construction Group, the general contractors for the museum.

The exterior features 3,600 cast-aluminum panels with intricate designs and Valspar’s Fluropon coatings. Valspar color experts helped create three custom colors: African Sunset, African Sunrise, and African Rose. Each panel contains five layers of coatings to achieve the exact vision of the design team. Fluropon 70% PVDF coatings will keep the museum panels pristine for years with vibrant color retention and excellent weathering capabilities.

The museum exterior is a work of art that stands apart from the historic structures adjacent to it. The final product is an awe-inspiring museum that brings the African American experience to life.



Let’s collaborate on your next project. Contact Valspar to get started. 


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