Design for the Museum for the Native American Indian
Author(s)Millon, Phoebe R. (Phoebe Rice)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Museums are becoming increasingly specialized as they carry out their general function to offer the public pathways and insights to various aesthetic and cultural fields. Traditional displays of arts and cultural history are giving away to the development of a new, more focused museum. In Washington two years ago, the Holocaust museum opened. A tribute to the Native American Indian surfaces will soon become a reality in the Nation's capitol. The architecture of and for the Native American Indian expresses significant relationship with the landscape. The building types are about moving outwards towards the landscape. Sites have been primarily rural. Therefore designing a museum for and about the Native American Indian on the mall site is a complicated development. The challenge is to build a normally extroverted building type on a constrained site. The design for a Museum of the Native American Indian involves three cultural and architectural issues. The first consideration is the history of Native Americans as well as a contemporary focus. The Native American Indian plays an essential role in the design backbone for the museum. This role is synthetic, to bring together vastly diverse American tribes and represent them in the museum's design and function. Second, the site; contextual issues of the mall and the oversight of the National Planning Commission add a layer of constraint and conformity which must be acknowledged. Third, the role of the museum should also be given consideration: will it function as a "tribute", or as a memorial, or as a monument and tool of understanding. Usually, a combination of all of these is typical in the success of a museum. However, at the largest scale, the new museum will be a designed environment, a reflective place, comprised of spaces which create an understanding of a culture.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1997.Includes bibliographical references (p. 27-28).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology