Humboldt Forum: Sneak Peek
On June 5, 2013, Ralph Appelbaum Associates launched a media-rich sneak preview of Berlin’s Humboldt Forum. The installation, now on display at the Humboldt Box, features a video triptych, a table projection, and a 3-D acrylic model. The Humboldt Forum, slated to open in 2019, will house three museums, two libraries, and Humboldt University. Featuring a vast collection of artifacts from around the world, the Forum will emphasize cultural connections and encourage a global dialogue.
A Visit from Clinton Foundation Interns
In early July, RAA was pleased to welcome ninety-five interns from the Clinton Foundation, along with Julie Becker, Intern Program Director, and Natrina Roper, Intern Program Manager. After the interns toured our offices, Ralph Appelbaum spoke to the group about the evolution of museums and RAA's role in that development. Having designed the Clinton Presidential Center and Library, we have a strong connection to the Foundation.
RAANY.com has been completely redesigned. The new website showcases a selection of our past work along with our ever-growing body of commissions. Explore the portfolio to learn more about the visitor journey of an RAA exhibition, the process that leads to a design solution and the exhibit narrative that ties it all together. A news stream will announce RAANY activities and recent openings. New content will be added on a regular basis; check back periodically for updates!
Precious Jewels Receive Royal Makeover
Just in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, the redesigned Crown Jewels exhibition opened, on March 29, 2012, at the Tower of London. Ralph Appelbaum Associates' London office used improved lighting and mounts to highlight the collection’s 23,578 gems. The show examines the Crown Jewels’ history and ongoing role in royal ceremonies. It also features newly restored footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, in 1953.
“Positive Distractions” at Children’s Hospital
Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, held its grand reopening on June 20, 2012. RAA worked with architecture firm FKP to design a space that promotes healing, engages families, and appeals to visitors of all ages. The calming influence of nature permeates the new design.
The 750,000-square-foot building features a “Magic Forest” with life-size trees and a dynamic light and soundscape that mimic the current season. Woodland creatures—oversized sculptures handcrafted by local Ohio artisans—greet patients and their families. Patient rooms are private, reducing the risk of infection, and include large windows, Wi-Fi connections, and a full bathroom with shower and bath. The new Nationwide Children’s Hospital expects one million visits each year.
Please watch the hospital's video about the "Magic Forest" for more information.
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Opens in Moscow
November 2012 marked the opening of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, in Moscow. Housed in a modernist 1927 building designed by Konstantin Melnikov, it is the country's first media-based, interactive museum. Artifacts, media features, a timeline, and eight "studios" tell the Russian Jewish story, from biblical times to the shtetl to the present day. A "Remembrance Space" honors those who died in the Great Patriotic War and in the Holocaust on Soviet soil, and the Tolerance Center invites visitors to explore difficult issues in a setting that encourages positive social engagement.
House & Home Exhibition, Washington, D.C.
House & Home, a long-term exhibition at the National Building Museum, in Washington, D.C., opened on April 28, 2012. The show explores all aspects of the American residential experience, from the literal components that make a house to the abstract constructs that make a home.
Visitors are invited to touch building materials like coarse adobe bricks and colonial timber. Models of iconic American houses illustrate prevailing design trends throughout time, while a collection of emblematic household objects tells the more intimate story of our daily lives. United States history is chronicled through the rise and fall of the housing market.
Please visit the National Building Museum site for more information.
Speaking Up with Poetic Voices
Poetic Voices of the Muslim World is a two-year program developed by City Lore and Poets House and designed by the team at Ralph Appelbaum Associates. The initiative celebrates the ancient Islamic poetic tradition, exploring works in Persian, Arabic, Urdu, and Turkish. RAA developed not only the exhibition but also its companion website. The program also includes a vibrant series of lectures, screenings, performances, and other activities. Poetic Voices will travel to Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Detroit, and Queens, New York.
Please visit www.poeticvoicesofthemuslimworld.org to learn more.
Natural History Museum of Utah Opens
RAA's design team developed the Natural History Museum of Utah's interpretive program and collaborated with architectural firm Ennead. The new building’s organic structure and materials echo the surrounding foothills of the Wasatch Range. Picture windows showcase the spectacular vistas and draw inspiration for the museum’s nine thematic galleries. The exhibition spaces emulate a system of hiking trails, with switchbacks and changes in elevation, which allow for an organic passage through the museum. Having attracted nearly 400,000 visitors in its first year since reopening, the Natural History Museum of Utah has exceeded its attendance goals by 50 percent.
The exhibition was featured in a spread of SEGD magazine. Click here for the full article.
Opening: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Washington Post
The Washington Post live-blogs the opening of the National Museum of African American Art and History. Read the coverage.
Photo: U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, center, arrives for the opening ceremony Saturday.
Image: EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
News: RAA at the 2nd Biennial in St. Petersburg
The Art Newspaper Russia writes, "Director of the Moscow office of the famous architectural bureau Ralph Appelbaum Associates Andrey Vovk spent a five-month workshop with [...] ten volunteers: young architects, graphic designers, and artists. The result was the exhibition-quest "What smells like a circus?" [...] From the outside it is a display of fascinating texts and related objects from the collections of the Museum of circus art." Read the article (in Russian).
Image: Ilya Snopchenko / IA "Dialogue"
News: The new Smithsonian museum, as seen by a Black American
Sonya Ross pens an op-ed for The Associated Press on experiencing the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a Black American. Read the article.
Image: Susan Walsh / AP
News: Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Museum Appraised by His Daughter in Forbes
Tatiana Yumasheva, the daughter of the late Russian President Boris Yeltsin is interviewed on the creation of the Yeltsin Center. Read the article (in Russian).
Site and artifact photography by Dmitriy Kurenev and Mikhail Kamensky / (c) Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Alexander Chaplinsky, and Askar Kabzhan.
News: 'Calls for Love and Peace' - Dharma Master Hsin Tao Blogs About Recent RAA Visit
Dharma Master Hsin Tao blogs for the China Times on his recent visit to RAA on the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Museum of World Religions, which is also the fifth anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dharma Master Hsin Tao writes about joining "old friends again [to] promote the work of peace." Read the article (in Chinese).
Image: Dharma Master Hsin Tao
News: Veterans museum under construction in Columbus, Ohio
Stars and Stripes reports on construction of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. RAA is re-imagining exhibits for the museum, which will be filled with "letters from servicemembers to their families, a timeline of major military events and films showing stories of veterans." Read the article.
Image: Rendering courtesy of Allied Works
News: HLF Round 2 success for Brooklands Museum
The Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Racetrack Revival project at Brooklands Museum, one of the UK’s most historically significant sites for motoring, aviation and engineering, has been awarded a grant of almost £4.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). RAA has worked closely with the Museum to develop concepts and interpretation for this significant redevelopment, which will draw on the authentic spirit of the site to bring to life more of its exciting history. Congratulations to the Brooklands team! RAA looks forward to embarking on the next phase of this remarkable project.
Photo credit: Brooklands Museum Archive
Opening: The Women's Library Collection, London School of Economics
An iconic new gallery located in LSE Library – one of the largest libraries in the world devoted to the economic and social sciences – has opened to the public following a close collaboration between RAA and the LSE.
Located in the Lionel Robbins Building in central London, the Library underwent an 8-year redevelopment, overseen by Foster + Partners, to improve conditions and increase access.
The transfer of The Women's Library Collection – which focuses on the lives of women in the UK over the past 150 years – was the catalyst for the project, though it is the first in a series of programmed exhibits that will highlight the breadth of LSE’s archives.
The new gallery acts as a public ‘front page’ for the Library, and includes a dynamic Media Wall that draws the eye of visitors approaching from outside. Designed to be highly visible 24 hours a day, the Media Wall is most dramatic at night, when it is a vibrant reminder of the global importance of the Library’s collections.
News: The Washington Post on "a packed weekend of celebrating the African American Museum"
The Washington Post covers the opening events for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, calls it "a weekend unlike any other" featuring an "extraordinary mix of star power, political swagger and public fervor." Read the article.
Image: Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post
News: At African-American History Museum, Visitor 'Dwell Time' Is Off The Charts
On NPR's All Things Considered, Beverly Morgan-Welch, Associate Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, discusses the unpredecented length of the "dwell time" -- the length people stay in a museum once they get in -- of visitors to the museum.
Morgan-Welch states that while the average dwell time for most museums ranges from an hour and forty-give minutes to two hours, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has a dwell time of up to six hours. She calls it "the best, most difficult problem [she has] ever faced in a museum." Read the article and listen to the interview.
Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
News: Service, not war, saluted at National Veterans Memorial & Museum
Brian Albrecht of The Plain Dealer covers the development of the National Veterans Memorial & Museum (NVMM), scheduled to open in 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. RAA is designing the exhibitions for the Museum, which is “dedicated to all veterans who served throughout the history of this country.” Read the article
Image: Allied Works Architecture
TING: Technology and Democracy
His Majesty King Harald V of Norway to open TING, an RAA and Tamschick Media+Space GmbH designed exhibition at the Norsk Teknisk Museum, Oslo
On April 2, 2014, the Norsk Teknisk Museum will open TING, an exhibition about the complex relationships between technology and democracy. It marks the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology and was designed and produced by Ralph Appelbaum Associates and Tamschick Media+Space in cooperation with the Museum.
Ting in its ancient form was a court in which items (tings) were put up for discussion. The exhibition echoes this practice in both design and visitor experience.
The design, based on a circular gathering space, incorporates cutting-edge interactive media, film, and facilitated programming with object-based displays and graphics.
The experience not only engages the public in debate and a vote on the impact of technologies—positive and negative—on society but also celebrates the Museum's collections and their relevance to social issues.
20 Year Anniversary of Holocaust Museum
On April 29, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C., commemorated its twentieth anniversary. Ralph Appelbaum Associates designed the museum’s permanent exhibition, a controlled emotional encounter in three acts. The exhibition, which includes architectural elements brought over from Poland and Germany, vividly conveys the magnitude of the Holocaust. USHMM has attracted nearly 35 million visitors since its opening. The two-day celebration included keynote speeches by Bill Clinton and Elie Wiesel. More than 840 Holocaust survivors, and 110 World War II veterans attended the event.
RAA Completes Third Commission at the Horniman
On January 29, RAA launched At Home With Music, a new exhibition in the Music Gallery at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London. Originally designed by RAA in 2002, the gallery now features never-before-shown keyboards from the museum's extensive musical instrument collection. The exhibition explores advances in keyboard-instrument design and how they encouraged music making in the home.
At the opening, the gallery resounded with two spine-tingling performances of new music by young composers, written specifically for the Museum’s newly restored 1772 double manual Kirckman harpsichord. Further live performances and demonstrations will continue to bring the ever-popular Music Gallery to life.
Review: Jewish Museum of History & Tolerance Center, Forward Magazine
The museum is appraised by Forward, the largest weekly Jewish publication in the United States. The Museum was opened in 2012, and is the world’s largest Jewish museum. Go to the article.
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Huffington Post
In a review of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Julia Craven writes for The Huffington Post that "black excellence abounds." Read the article.
Image: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Jerusalem Post
In a rave review of the National Museum of African American History and Culture for The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach deems the museum "simply spectacular," adding that it "packs into its golden metal grating so much American experience that one feels transformed upon emerging." Read the article.
Opening: "Infinite Compassion: Avalokiteshvara in Asian Art," Staten Island Museum, silive.com
"Infinite Compassion: Avalokiteshvara in Asian Art," whose "surpisingly ambitous agenda" is "more kindness for all." The exhibition will be on view through 2017. Read the article.
Image: Staten Island Advance / Lauren Steussy
The Presidio Officers’ Club Opens in San Francisco
In collaboration with the Presidio Trust of San Francisco, RAA designed the exhibits for the Presidio Officers’ Club, a new museum and cultural center housed in some of the city’s oldest structures, dating to the late 18th century. First a home to Native Ohlone people, then a military base for Spain, Mexico, and, finally, the United States, the Presidio site is now a national park with vibrant community programs.
The exhibits immerse visitors in the rich flow of human history through this unique place, revealing the changes in people’s relationships to the land and to each other, and in the nature of service.
The new museum combines traditional exhibit elements and artifact displays with a suite of media programs, including touchscreen kiosks, a display leveraging Instagram’s API, an iPad app, and a visitor polling and data visualization experience. Although the programs focus on different aspects of the Presidio story, taken together, they reflect an approach to visitor engagement that invites viewers to go beyond the role of passive observers and become active participants.
New Exhibit Opens at Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, UK
The Duke of Edinburgh Opens New Exhibition at Royal Air Force Museum
On 2nd December RAA attended the opening ceremony for ‘The First World War in the Air’ exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM), Hendon, UK. Attending the event was His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Chairman and the Trustees of the RAFM.
RAA collaborated with the RAFM to develop this 2,300 square-metre exhibition, using interactivity, media and collections to relate the thrilling story of the evolution of flight.With 300 objects and 14 aircraft on display, including the famous Sopwith Camel and the Albatros D. Va, the exhibition allows diverse audiences to explore the often overlooked role of air power during WWI through the incredible stories of the men and women who took part.
The exhibition gets to the heart of the role of aviation in WWI, told through the stories of the people involved, their daring feats and achievements, and the technological breakthroughs that made aviation what it is today.
News: Lincoln Center Will Create a Performing Arts Hall of Fame
News: Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma agree to terms on American Indian Cultural Center and Museum
The Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma officials have agreed to terms so that the RAA-designed American Indian Cultural Center and Museum project can proceed. Go to article.
Photo credit: Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Washington Post
In a review of the National Museum of African American History and Culture for The Washington Post, Philip Kennicott deems RAA "the best known and most trusted museum designer in the world." Read the article.
Image: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post
News: Watch the Making of Al-Shaheed Park Museums Project
View the making of Al-Shaheed Park Museums Project, the permanent exhibition of the Remembrance Museum and the Habitat Museum within the park, connecting the old Kuwait City with the new urban areas. Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) was responsible for exhibition design, and ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño implemented the exhibition. Watch the video.
News: Final Approval for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center in Washington, DC.
Opening: Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center & Museum
On November 25th, the Russian Federation opened its first Presidential Center for its former President, Boris Yeltsin, the first man democratically elected in 1000 years in Russia. Located in his home city of Yekaterinburg, the museum represents the first exploration of post-Soviet history in a public space in Russia. It is by all estimations, the most interactive and modern museum in the Federation, showcasing over 100 individual interactive programs, and 500 hours of accessible media content. RAA worked for four years on the project and completed the exhibition, media, interior design of the entire Center, including 20,000 square meters of non-exhibition space, 2,000 square meters of exhibition space, as well as the fabrication and construction of all exhibitions and production of all media. See the announcement on the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center website here, as well as an article in RT and another in TASS.
Photo credit: © Pavel Lisitsyn / Sputnik from RT
Review: The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Museum, The New Yorker
An appraisal of the recently opened museum was feature in the November 23 issue of The New Yorker. Go to the article.
Photo credit: ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/BARCROFT MEDIA /LANDOV (from The New Yorker)
News: Lego Museum in The New York Times Magazine
The New York Times Magazine provides a look into this intriguing and groundbreaking project involving technology & education. Go to the article.
News: Qatar's new slavery museum will 'highlight modern exploitation,’ The Telegraph (UK)
A news article on the upcoming RAA-designed Mshereib Museums opening in Doha, Qatar. Go to the article.
Photo credit: Msheireb Properties
News: Nordic Heritage Center will open in 2017
The Nordic Heritage Center will be the first site in the United States dedicated to the people of Nordic descent and their culture. Go to the article.
Rendering by Mithun (from the Daily Journal of Commerce)
News: Qatar Opens Set of Landmark Museums
HH Sheikha Moza opened four RAA-designed projects in downtown Doha, including a historic museum confronting Arab slavery. Go to the article from the Gulf Times.
Photo credit: Aisha al-Sada/HHOPL (from the Gulf News)
News: American Museum of Natural History Unveils Expansion Design
The Wall Street Journal provides coverage on the new expansion that RAA is working on with Studio Gang. Read the article.
Rendering by Studio Gang Architects (from the Wall Street Journal)
Opening: WATCH! (The CBS Magazine) Launches Exhibit
Watch!, the official magazine of CBS, unveiled today an RAA-designed exhibit of its most celebrated covers in the lobbies of its historic Black Rock headquarters in midtown Manhattan. Go to the article.
Photo Credit: Jason Schuler, Awakened Films / CBS
News: RAA wins design competition for Horniman Museum’s new Anthropology Gallery
As part of a broader ‘Collections People Stories’ project, the new Gallery will deliver a world-class redisplay of thousands of objects from the Horniman’s fascinating anthropology collections across three gallery spaces within the museum’s unique historic building. Drawing on the strength of the Horniman’s engagement with its local community, the project will explore the richness and diversity of human life around the world and invite visitors from all backgrounds to contribute their own voices.
Image credit: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Phillip Tefft teaches a masterclass on museum planning in Trieste, Italy
Our UK Director Phillip Tefft visited Trieste, Italy, in November to teach an international course on museum masterplanning (html link) for the Journal of Science Communication (JCOM). Organised by Italy’s Sissa Medialab, the courses offer intensive training to empower cultural institutions from around the world to engage audiences in science and how it affects the world around us.
Photo credit: SISSA Medialab
Opening: Magna Carta Exhibition, Lincoln Castle
The UK’s Princess Anne officially reopened the ancient site of Lincoln Castle on 8th June this year, following a major redevelopment to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. The centerpiece of the project, which has been developed over the past four years by RAA in close collaboration with the client team, is a stunning new exhibition of two of Britain’s most important historic and rare documents. Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest changed the course of British history, and the exhibition explores their enduring relevance through themes of accountability, justice and power. The project has also brought to life Lincoln Castle’s atmospheric Victorian prison through immersive media and 3D soundscapes, while site-wide interpretation helps visitors to uncover the hidden stories of the Castle’s layered history.
Photo credit: Lincolnshire County Council / Andy Tryner
News: ‘The First World War in the Air’ wins GOOD Design Award
‘The First World War in the Air’ exhibition has won a 2015 GOOD Design Award for Environment Design. These awards, given by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts, recognise the best in cutting-edge design from around the world.
Opening: National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian announced that the David Adjaye-designed National Museum of African American History and Culture will open to the public Saturday, Sept. 24, with an exhibit program designed by RAA. The opening will be the focus of a week-long celebration that begins with a dedication ceremony where President Barack Obama will cut the ribbon. The celebration continues with extended visiting hours and a three-day festival showcasing popular music, literature, dance and film. Also planned are events co-hosted by other museums around the country and in Africa. View the release on the Smithsonian's website.
PHOTO: "Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom" video projection Nov. 16, 2015 at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Photo by Eric Long / Smithsonian Institution)
Review: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Toronto Star
The Toronto Star raves about the "astounding success" of RAA-designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights. View the article.
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Washington Post
In a review, The Washington Post writes that the National Museum of African American History and Culture provides "a state-of-the-art museum exerience" whose tone is "a shifting mix of sadness and celebration." Read the article.
Image: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post
News: Oprah Winfrey Interview on the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Washington Post interviews Oprah Winfrey about the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which houses a theater in her name. In the interview, Oprah, who donated $21M to the museum and sits on its Board of Directors, tells the Post, "I haven’t been more excited about anything, ever, since The Color Purple." Read the article.
Image: Brian Snyder / Reuters
News: Congresswoman Karen Bass Op-Ed on the National Museum of African American History and Culture
In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Sentinel, Congresswoman Karen Bass writes that the National Museum of African American History and Culture "both memorializes and edifies," adding that the "soaring structure was built so [African-American] history could not be denied nor [African-Americans'] contributions overlooked." Read the article.
Image: Eric Long / Smithsonian Insitution
News: ‘The First World War in the Air’ wins two major awards
‘The First World War in the Air’ exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum has won the National Lottery Award for Best Heritage Project. These prestigious awards recognise the best among the hundreds of national lottery funded projects in the UK each year. The project also won a Platinum Award in the Exhibit Design category of the international Graphis Design Awards. Organised around a single powerful message – ‘He who controls the air, controls the battlefield’ – the exhibition tells the story of early British aviation and its key role in the First World War. Featuring iconic aircraft such as the Sopwith Camel and the Albatros D. Va, it invites audiences to discover both the astonishing technological breakthroughs and the incredible stories of the people who took part.
Photo credit: RAA / Andrew Lee
Review: Museum of Tomorrow, Smithsonian Magazine
Smithsonian Magazine reviews the Museum of Tomorrow in Brazil, describing it as "a futuristic science museum that looks decades ahead and was specifically designed to elicit an emotional response" and "a structure full of lights and sounds that interact with their movements, showing that with every action, the world around them is affected." Read the review.
Image: Luis Sousa/NurPhoto/Corbis
Review: Museum of Tomorrow, The Guardian
The Guardian calls the Museum of Tomorrow in Brazil “a little trippy, a little hippy, very worthy but rarely dull” in its December 17th edition. Working closely with the curators, RAA did the initial planning, concept design and developed the spaces through design development. Go to the article.
Photo by Carlos Rodriguez / Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Weltmuseum Vienna Groundbreaking
The Hoskins Architects/RAA-designed Weltmuseum in Vienna breaks ground. Check out the press (in German) here.
Image: RAA/Hoskins Architects
Opening: Staten Island Museum
The Staten Island Museum, with exhibits designed by RAA, reopened in its new location in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens on Saturday, September 19, 2015.
Image credit: Staten Island Advance/ Jan Somma-Hammel (from Silive.com)
News: RAA-designed office interiors
Office interiors designed by RAA - view them here (in Russian).
News: Columbus will be home to the National Veterans Memorial & Museum
Columbus Business First reports that a bill has been introduced in Congress to provide an official designation for the memorial to military veterans currently under construction in Columbus, OH as the National Veterans Memorial & Museum, making it the first official national veterans memorial in the United States. RAA is working on re-imagining exhibits for the museum. Read the article.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Charleston's International African American Museum Continues Expansion
The Moultrie News reports on the appointment of Evie Colbert, Michael Gianoni, Marva Smalls, and Mayor John J. Tecklenburg to the International African American Museum Board of Directors, as well as on the development of the museum. The Moultrie News writes that "design efforts are steadily progressing as the board approved the latest round of exhibit design from Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) -- the world's largest museum exhibition design firm." Read the article.
Image: International African American Museum (IAAM)
News: 'Natural History Museum’s Expansion: Part Dr. Seuss, Part Jurassic Park,' The New York Times
The new wing of the American Museum of Natural History (which RAA is designing the exhibit program for, with Studio Gang as the lead architect) is discussed in two articles The New York Times as part of their on-going coverage of the project’s development. Read the first article (from November 5) here, and the second (from November 7) here.
Rendering by Studio Gang Architects (from The New York Times)
News: Museum of Tomorrow Wins Best Museum Award in Latin America
The Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro received the Best Museum Award from the Leading Culture Destinations Awards, considered to be the "Oscar of the museums." This prestigious award reognizes insitutions and cities who have made "exemplary contributions to international culture." Read the article (in Portuguese).
Image: Luiz Ackermann / Agência O Globo
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Standard Media Kenya
The Standard Media Kenya reviews the National Museum of African American History and Culture and deems the architecutural design of the museum "a marvel." Read the article.
Image: Michael R. Barnes / Smithsonian Institution
News: A first look inside the Smithsonian’s African American museum: Stunning views, grand scale
The Washington Post covers a sneak peek at the progress on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, praising its "soaring spaces and magical views of the Mall." Read the article.
Image: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post
News: Path Open to Complete Oklahoma's American Indian Museum
Kosu / The Associated Press cover the revival of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum near downtown Oklahoma City. RAA will develop exhibits and interpretive programs for the museum. Blake Wade, executive director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, credits RAA with "open[ing] doors for cooperation from many other tribal-related museums, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington." Read the article.
Image: Shannon Cornman
News: Phil Hughes Quoted in Design Week
News: Staten Island Museum Is Reopening in Snug Harbor Complex
The New York Times covers the re-opening of the Staten Island Museum. Read the article.
Image credit: The New York Times / Andrew White
News: Leonid Hanin quoted in Malina on the Boris Yeltsin Presidental Center
In an interview with Malina, Leonid Hanin calls the Yeltsin center "the most technologically advanced museum in the world." Read the article (in Russian).
News: Laying the foundation stone for the construction of the Jozef Pilsudski Museum
The groundbreaking of the Jozef Pilsudski Museum in Sulejówek, Poland takes place on November 9, 2016 with a ceremonial laying of the foundation stone, with guests of honor including the President of the Polish rebpulic. Read more and watch the video (in Polish).
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Vietnam education center gets $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment
The Washington Post reports on the Lilly Endowment’s $10 Million grant to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for the Education Center at the Wall in Washington, D.C. Read the Article
Image: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (Ralph Appelbaum Associates Rendering)
News: Lavazza Presents First Official Sustainability Report
Lavazza released its first official sustainability report (2014) in Italy at Milan EXPO. RAA contributed to the development of Lavazza's sustainability vision, and is developing the Lavazza Museum, which will "showcase the company's heritage and future." Read the article.
News: The story behind the design of the African American history museum
The Washington Post covers the design development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. Read the article.
Image: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Der Freitag
Der Freitag reviews the National Museum of African American History and Culture, writing that the museum "embodies the best among American virtues." Read the article (in German).
News: $19.7M plan unveiled for visitors’ center at Paterson’s Great Falls
Paterson Press reports on the proposed Alexander Hamilton Center in Paterson Great Falls National Park, with exhibitions to be designed by RAA. Read the article.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: MUNET plans to open in 2018
El Universal reports the National Museum of Energy and Technology (MUNET) in Mexico City plans to open in September 2018. Read the article (in Spanish).
Image: Cortesía CFE
News: 15 years on, museum where slaves landed taking form
The Daily Mail / Associated Press report on plans for the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, SC, with exhibitions to be designed by RAA. Read the article.
Image: AP Photo / Bruce Smith
News: Museum of World Religions hosts the first Buddhist-Muslim Youth Dialogue
On September 9, the Museum of World Religions, in partnership with non-governmental organization Global Family for Love and Peace, hosted the first Buddhist-Muslim youth dialogue "to embrace our young religions leaders, scholars and researchers to reach out to our next generation for a better world" at the Church Center of the United Nations in New York. Read the article.
Image: AhlulBayt News Agency
News: Columbus Landmarks names 4 finalists for urban design award
Columbus Landmarks names RAA's Nationwide Children's Hospital one of four finalists for its annual urban design award. Read the article.
Image: Nationwide Children's Hospital
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Interior Design
In a review of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Interior Design raves that the museum "shines on the Mall." Read the article.
Image: Alan Karchmer
News: Memorial in São Paolo
Jornal do Comércio covers the re-installation of the exhibition "Timeline - History of Rio Grande do Sul" in the Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul. Read the article (in Portuguese).
Image: Ricardo André Frantz
News: Capital Gazette Op-Ed on National Museum of African American History and Culture
An op-ed in the Capital Gazette says that the National Museum of African American History and Culture "goes right to the heart of some of this nation's worst tragedies and greatest triumphs," and "will help America remember." Read the article.
Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
News: Red dragon and green values at Milan Expo
The Telegraph covers the Milan Expo unveiling of the Vanke Pavilion, whose exhibition area was designed by RAA. Read the article.
News: Charleston’s planned International African American Museum will fill in a gap in American history
The Economist reports on the progress of the planned International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, S.C., whose exhibits will be designed by RAA. The Economist quotes IAAM CEO Michael Moore promising the museum will "commemorate the skills and accomplishments of slaves and their descendants, reassuring black youngsters that 'there are heroes who look just like them.'" Read the article.
Image: Moody Nolan
News: RAA wins design competition to develop Józef Piłsudski Museum in Poland
On 9 February 2016 at the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage it was announced that the consortium of three companies: Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), WXCA Sp. z o.o., and Platige Image SA – who had won the design competition for the development of a visual-spatial concept for a permanent exhibition at the Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek – officially signed the agreement.
The new building will be erected in the historical enclave in Sulejówek, in the immediate vicinity of Dworek "Milusin", a historic mansion where Jozef Pilsudki once resided with his wife and daughters. The original interior of the restored manor along with the permanent exhibition in the new building will jointly complement the story of Józef Piłsudski and will constitute an integrated offer for expanding and disseminating knowledge about the Marshal, his political philosophy, opinions, as well as his rich heritage and the times he lived in.
The exhibition is a chronological and theme-based story about Józef Piłsudski divided into six galleries, five of which cover different periods of his life and subsequent stages of the Marshal's activities, whilst the sixth presents a summary of his heritage.
An article (in Polish) about the permanent exhibition can be found here.
Images: RAA / WXCA / Platige
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the National Museum of African American History and Culture "stunningly radiant" in a rave review. Read the article.
Image: The Philadelphia Inquirer / Ed Hille
News: RAA creates the world’s largest stationary projection diorama
The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, designed by RAA, features the world's largest stationary projection diorama. Read the article.
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Curbed
In a review of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Curbed writes that the museum is a "gem" that "works like a power player who only speaks in a whisper." Read the article.
Image: André Chung
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Atlantic
In a review, The Atlantic writes that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a "massive undertaking, sometimes breathtaking." Read the article.
Image: The Atlantic
Review: Ikea Museum, Curbed
In a review, Curbed calls the Ikea Museum a "daytrip-worthy stunner." Read the article.
Image: Inter IKEA Systems / Matt Hickman
Opening: Ikea Museum
The Ikea Museum will open on June 30, 2016. Based in Älmhult, where the first Ikea store was built in 1958, the Ikea Museum is Ikea's first major museum in Sweden. Read the article.
Image: Inter IKEA Systems
Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Zeit Online
Zeit Online appraises the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Read the article (in German).
Image: Preston Keres / AFP / Getty Images
News: Historic bell will ring for 'justice' at opening of new African American History Museum
USA Today reports on the The Freedom Bell, recently restored and transported from First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA to Washington D.C. to be rung at the opening cermonies of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Read the article.
Image: Let Freedom Ring Challenge
News: 360-Degree Photos Show The National Black History Museum Like You’ve Never Seen
The Huffington Post provides an immersive 360-degree photo tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. View the photos here.
Image: Bill Clark / Getty Images
News: Will Frank Gehry build an architectural icon for Tel Aviv?
In Jewish Journal, Danielle Berrin reports on plans for the World's Jewish Museum in Tel Aviv, "the brainchild of Canadian philanthropists Gail and David Asper" to be built by starchitect Frank Gehry. Berrin writes, "The [Asper] family shrewdly hired Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a leading museum exhibition design firm best known for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and more recently, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture to design the content." Read the article.
Image: Danielle Berrin
News: Humboldt Forum: 'Germany's most ambitious cultural project' reveals concept
Deutsche Weil reports on the conceptualization of the Humboldt Forum, whose exhibitions are being designed by RAA, and which "aims to become a leading European cultural center in the center of the German capital." Read the article.
Image: picture-alliance / dpa / J. Kalaene
News: Veterans Memorial project expected to ignite interest in Scioto Peninsula
Image: Kyle Robertson / Dispatch
News: Paul Fanlund: 'The slave shackles I will never forget'
In an op-ed for The Capital Times, Paul Fanlund, editor and executive publisher, writes about his experience at the "awe-inspiring" National Museum of African American History and Culture, declaring that the museum "has had more of an emotional impact on [him] than any museum [he has] ever visited." Read the article.
Image: Jaclyn Nash / Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
News: RAA completes new visitor experience at Shanghai Village, created and operated by Value Retail
At the heart of Shanghai Village, the newest luxury retail destination in China by Value Retail, YiHAUS is an exciting new cultural visitor experience unlike any other. It offers the millions of curious visitors to Shanghai Village a privileged view into what’s next in fashion and design, presenting them with imaginative new ways of reconsidering their own style.
RAA worked with Value Retail to develop the YiHAUS concept and completed the exhibition design for the launch exhibition, which showcases a pioneering collaboration between RAA, YiHAUS and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London - world-renowned for its innovative fashion, art and design.
Exploring the theme of Evolving Beauty, the exhibition features 16 unique, provocative short films, created especially for YiHAUS by two postgraduate courses at Central Saint Martins: MA Materials Futures and MA Narrative Environments. Alongside the films, displays present beautiful and strange new textiles, jewellery, clothing and products, developed by Central Saint Martins alumni. Tracing their own path through the exhibition, surprising encounters and thought-provoking questions, visitors are invited to reflect on a central question: how will they be beautiful tomorrow?
Opened in May 2016, Shanghai Village is expected to welcome millions of visitors in its first year of opening.
Images: Value Retail
News: RAA Completes 'Brazil 2014 Revisited,' The First Temporary Exhibition at the FIFA World Football Museum
Opened in February 2016, the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich celebrates the rich heritage of football and shows how the game continues to connect and inspire the world.
RAA is collaborating with FIFA to create a series of temporary exhibitions celebrating the beauty of the game which connects so many of us globally. Brazil 2014 Revisited is the first in the series, telling the amazing story of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ with interactive media alongside never-before-seen artefacts and objects collected from the tournament.
Brazil 2014 Revisited transports visitors to the streets and stadiums of Brazil using immersive sound, dramatic media and dynamic exhibition graphics. Divided into four sections, the exhibition allows visitors to experience the rich history of football in Brazil, the incredible energy of the country and relive the thrill of the 2014 World Cup tournament – one of the moist successful football tournaments of all time.
RAA provided a complete design and build service to FWFM, including design of all exhibition elements, media development and production, fit out works, AV hardware, object mounts and lighting.
Design Week covers the exhibition -- read the article.
News: Olusegun Obasanjo at 80 – African icon, global treasure
On the occasion of the President's 80th birthday and the opening of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Greg Mills reflects on the life and career of President Olusegun Obsanjo. The Library, with exhibitions designed by RAA, “establishes a new tradition in public record-keeping in Nigeria...” Read the Article.
Image: Nigerian Monitor
News: RAA wins major competition to create the Interpretation Strategy for the New Museum of London
RAA is delighted to have been appointed by the Museum of London to create an Interpretation Strategy, following a major design competition. The commission follows the recent appointment of Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, with Julian Harrap, J&L Gibbons and Plan A, as the architectural team.
Located at the epicentre of the regeneration led by the new Crossrail interchange at Farringdon and the City of London’s developing cultural hub, the Museum’s move to West Smithfield will be the most significant capital investment in the Museum in its near 200-year history.
With 25,000 square metres of available space, and more than 6 million artefacts in its outstanding collections, the new Museum will curate the phenomenon of London – the leading world city.
RAA is working collaboratively with the Museum of London to create a clear statement of the Museum’s vision for connecting its remarkable stories and collections to London’s diverse audiences. The Interpretation Strategy will capture the powerful sense of place created by the Museum in its new site, and will articulate a compelling strategy for the Museum’s future development into an energetic, connected and vital new Museum for London.
Images: Stanton Williams
News: Canadian Museum for Human Rights nabs award at 'Oscars for museums' in London
RAA-designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) wins the award for Best Soft Power Cultural Organization from London-based Leading Culture Organizations. The category is new, created "to acknowledge the importance of cultural organizations 'that have powerful influence and impact based on excellence, relevance, transparency, accountability and sustainability.'" According to CBC News, CMHR "beat out five other international museums for the honour, including museums in Afghanistan, America, the Philippines, Poland and Suriname." Read the article.
Image: Aaron Cohen / CMHR
News: Human rights museum wins award
Opening: 'Poetic Voices of the Muslim World,' City Lore Gallery / Poets House, patch.com
'Poetic Voices of the Muslim World,' developed by Poets House and City Lore, with exhibition design by RAA, opened on December 15, 2016 at City Lore Gallery. The exhibition "explores how poetry impacts the lives of Muslim men and women around the world," and "features photography, the work of poets such as Rumi and Adonis, and large visual elements on nine printed panels to highlight poetic traditions from four major language areas—Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu." Read the article.
Photo credit: City Lore Gallery
News: Obama Foundation Announces Exhibition Designers for Obama Presidential Center
"Today, the Obama Foundation announced that it has selected an interdisciplinary exhibition design team for the museum that will be part of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC).
The exhibition design team will be led by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) and will ultimately include several firms and individuals with expertise in media, lighting, and acoustics. Several Chicago-based creative collaborators will play important roles in the exhibition design process, including the firms Civic Projects LLC and Normal, and the artists and educators Amanda Williams, Andres Hernandez, and Norman Teague. Almost half of the exhibition design work for the OPC will be performed by minority- and woman-owned businesses.” Read the Annoucement
News: The “Lost Shtetl” Museum, Lithuania
The Baltic Times describes the development of the Šeduva Jewish Museum “Lost Shtetl” – which will open in 2019 in Šeduva, Lithuania. Read the article
Image: Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects
News: Visiting the African-American Museum: Waiting, Reading, Thinking, Connecting, Feeling
In The New York Times, Wesley Morris raves about the National Museum of African American History and Culture, citing its opening as "the museum event of the year — probably the century," and the museum itself as "a major bureaucratic, academic and emotional achievement." Read the article.
Image: Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times
News: RAA to design South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum in partnership with the British Museum
RAA is delighted to have been appointed by Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, to lead the interpretive exhibition design of the new South Asia Gallery.
The South Asia Gallery will be a new permanent gallery at Manchester Museum, in Manchester, United Kingdom, on the theme of the history and culture of the Indian sub-continent.
As part of a landmark partnership with the British Museum, the gallery will draw on the best of the British Museum’s collections and expertise, and will include some 300 extraordinary artefacts from South Asia, dating from 2300 BC to the present day.
The South Asia Gallery forms part of a wider redevelopment project at the Manchester Museum, which includes a 500m2 temporary exhibition space, a new entrance, remodelled café and shop, and expanded public facilities. The development will principally be realised by building in the Museum’s courtyard. The project is due to open in March 2020.
Phillip Tefft, Director of UK Operations at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, says: “The RAA team was inspired the moment we received the brief for the South Asia Gallery at the Manchester Museum. We are honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with both the British Museum and Manchester Museum for this prestigious project, and we look forward to working with this team to showcase the British Museum’s remarkable collections to South Asian and broader audiences, to the Community and to the world, in a celebration of ‘all things Desi’!”
Image: University of Manchester
News: The Best Art of 2016
The New York Times art critics Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith share their selections for the best art of the year, with the RAA-designed National Museum of African American History and Culture taking the #1 spot. Read the article.
Image: Alan Karchmer / National Museum of African American History and Culture
News: Rights museum wins design award for accessibility
RAA-designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights has been honored with the Gold Award from the International Association of Universal Design, given annually for "outstanding contributions toward building an inclusive world where everyone can live together comfortably and without barriers to participation in daily life, regardless of ability, age, gender, ethnicity or other factors." In celebration, on December 9, National Human Rights Day, the museum offered free admission. Read the article.
Image: Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Files
News: The Best Architecture of 2016: Structures New and Reclaimed
The Wall Street Journal names the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the top of their list of "The Best Architecture of 2016: Structures New and Reclaimed." Julie Iovine writes, "It can take decades for a significant building to rise up from concept to rooftop and years more for the public to fully appreciate it as architecture worthy of civic pride. The National Museum of African American History and Culture condensed the pride part into a matter of weeks." Read the article.
Image: Darren Bradley
News: Russia has a museum dedicated to freedom — and people want to shut it down
In The Washington Post, David Filipov covers growing controversy over The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with exhibits designed by RAA. Filipov describes the museum as "a stirring exhibition of Russia’s struggle to win rights and freedoms" which "many influential people want to shut down, or at least tone down." Read the article.
Image: AskarKabjan / The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center
News: Putin's Homage to Yeltsin, and the Ghost of Freedom Past
In The Daily Beast, Anna Nemtsova reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening of RAA-designed Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, "praising his predecessor’s human qualities and achievements" during his visit. Read the article.
Image: The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center
News: Washington’s New African-American Museum Shows How Black History Shaped the American Experience
In The Nation, Erica Armstong Dunbar covers the National Museum of African American History and Culture, writing that "the most recent and cutting-edge scholarship informs the exhibits," which were designed by RAA. Dunbar continues that the museum "will force Americans to look at their past, to see their present, and—hopefully—to reimagine their future." Read the article.
Image: Alan Karchmer
News: 5 reasons to love the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
The Toronto Star calls the RAA-designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights "game-changing," raving that the museum "awes, educates and inspires visitors with films, images, interactive exhibits", but that visitors "could come for the architecture and design alone." Read the article.
Image: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Review: At Last, a Black History Museum, New York Review of Books
Edward Ball - for the New York Review of Books – reflects on his experience visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., as well as on the development of the project. Read the Article.
Image: National Museum of African American History and Culture
News: Museum Expansions that Think Inside the Footprint, New York Times
Jane Levere writes about the variety of museums that are transforming and remaking within their existing interior and exterior spaces. These museums include the American Museum of Natural History, with the current Richard Gilder Center for Science and Innovation, for which RAA is the exhibition designer. Read the Article.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Jackie Robinson Museum Breaks Ground in NYC
April 28th, 2017, saw the celebration of the groundbreaking of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City. In the words of Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife and founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation: "I hope that visitors to the museum will not only learn about his journey and experience his energy, but that they will be inspired to view each day as a chance to make a difference." RAA will design the exhibitions for the Museum. Read the Article.
Image: Thos Robinson/Getty Images North America
News: The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center wins the European Museum of the Year’s Kenneth Hudson Award
The European Museum of the Year has awarded the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library and Museum, design by RAA, the Kenneth Hudson Award, which is “given in recognition of the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society” Read the Article.
Image: The Yeltsin Foundation
News: Making of The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Museum
RAA’s selected fabrication partner, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), filmed the working process of creating the new Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Museum located in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
News: African-American Museum Wins New Fans: Athletes
For the New York Times, Marc Tracy describes how “… the African-American history museum — which opened last September to great fanfare and critical acclaim — has quickly become a must-see attraction for visiting players and teams,” and what the visit has meant to players personally. Read the Article.
Image: Tom Zweibel/Knicks.com
News: Making of the Al-Shaheed Park Museums
RAA’s selected fabrication partner, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), filmed the working process of creating the new Al-Shaheed Park Museums located in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
News: Making of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library
RAA’s selected fabrication partner, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD), filmed the working process of creating the new Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library located in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
News: RAA to design IWM London's new Second World War Galleries, due to open in 2020
Following a major international design competition in 2016, RAA is honored to be working with Imperial War Museums to plan and design the new Second World War Galleries at IWM London.
The galleries are a central part of a wider development at IWM London, covering both the Second World War and the Holocaust. A key institutional goal, addressed through this development, is to reinforce the connections between the unique circumstances of the Second World War and the events of the Holocaust. RAA will be working closely with the designers of the Holocaust Gallery, Casson Mann, to explore these seminal events in our collective history.
RAA’s design for the Second World War Galleries will present the war as the pivotal event of the twentieth century. The sheer complexity, scale, and diversity of the theatres of conflict; the interrelated political events across the globe; and the all encompassing nature of a 'Total War', which transformed the lives of civilians and combatants across all societies, will be revealed for visitors to explore both in depth and with an overarching perspective.
At the heart of the Galleries will be IWM’s collections, from dramatic large-scale objects such as military vehicles and weaponry, to smaller personal collections and the vast film and photographic archives, including much never-before-seen imagery.
A diverse array of interpretive techniques, including scene setting, dynamic object displays, meaningful graphic and 3D design, and a cutting-edge use of original and new media, will shape the visitor experience and reveal the significance of the collections.
All stories will be told contemporaneously - from the perspective and understanding of those who endured the events - and without recourse to modern historic analysis and the insights available with the benefit of hindsight. This commitment to contemporaneity will ensure the exhibition is an authentic and accurate portrayal of the human experience of the greatest conflict in our history.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates