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16 Nov 2020
Museum devoted to the history of the US Army opens its doors
By Tom Walker
Museum devoted to the history of the US Army opens its doors
The LEED Silver-certified museum is designed in a series of pavilions for exhibits
Photo: SOM
A museum telling the story of the US Army has opened in close to Newington, close to Washington, D.C.

The National Museum of the United States Army (NMUSA) is the first to outline the rich heritage of the oldest branch of the United States military had has been designed to serve as a center of education and as the Army’s symbolic "front door".

Rather than focusing on battles or wars, the content will centre on the individual soldier by walking visitors through every generation of the Army – revealing to them a centuries-long narrative of honor, sacrifice, and valor.

Designed by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the museum spans 84 acres across the bucolic Fort Belvoir Military Installation in Virginia.

The LEED Silver-certified museum is designed in a series of pavilions for exhibits and special events and leverages the site’s natural topography, rests atop a plateau to evoke a sense of monumentality.

Part of SOM’s design and planning for the future of the site includes a quiet memorial garden, a parade field and grandstand, and an Army Trail with interpretive stations.

“Our partners at SOM did a magnificent job helping us envision a museum that would reflect the Army’s storied history, its values, and the service of the 30 million men and women who have worn its uniform,” said Roger Schultz, President of the Army Historical Foundation, the nonprofit organization that campaigned to construct the museum.

“SOM’s ability to produce such an impressive design while ensuring the museum is also green and sustainable is a credit to their team and representative of our shared values.”

Roger Duffy, the former SOM Design Partner in charge of the project, said: ""At the core of the design are three underlying principles—discipline, modesty, and rigorousness.

"We wanted to create a place that would be symbolic and would also express its significance to the nation as both an educational and cultural institution."

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