Museum Design

DESIGNED TO AWE

Rafael Viñoly’s design inspiration for the breathtaking National Medal of Honor Museum was realized by chance as he lifted a heavy slab of metal in his model studio in New York City.  Lifting the dense and daunting slab made him think of the heavy burdens our men and women in uniform lift in battle as they protect and defend us. The strength of steel – forged in fire – is akin to the strength of our armed forces, which is forged in the heat of battle.

The main exhibitions of the museum will be housed in this remarkable 25,000 square foot slab of steel seemingly suspended in mid-air.

DESIGNED TO INSPIRE

The work and missions of our armed forces are daunting. They come from diverse backgrounds yet work together across branches of the military, in varied geographic regions, and in times of peace and war to achieve and exceed every goal set before them. They lift these heavy burdens with a unity and strength that looks almost effortless.

The five columns on which the exhibit space rest represent the five branches of the military.  Each comes to a small point representing the individual acts of courage for which individuals from each branch of the military have been recognized with the Medal of Honor.

The newly created Space Force is represented by the central oculus in the middle of the slab, which allows light to flow freely to the Rotunda of Honor below.

DESIGNED TO REMEMBER

Of the more than 40 million Americans who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces since the Civil War, fewer than 4,000 have been awarded the Medal of Honor – our Nation’s highest Medal for valor in combat. The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President, in the name of Congress, to a member of the United States Armed Forces who is prominently distinguished by gallantry and intrepidity, risking loss of life above and beyond the call of duty.

The values the Medal represents are central to this project. These values will be shared, studied and enshrined in the Education Center and Leadership Institute housed in the lower levels of the museum overlooking the beautiful Mark Holtz lake.

The National Medal of Honor Museum, Leadership Institute, and Education Center will stand as a beacon of valor in the Arlington, Texas, skyline showcasing real-life examples of courage and sacrifice, commitment and integrity, citizenship and patriotism and will inspire current and future generations to prioritize service above self.

DESIGNED BY RAFAEL VINOLY ARCHITECTS

Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, the Museum will sit amidst a five-acre tranquil landscape in the Arlington Entertainment District. The 101,000-square-foot footprint will encompass 25,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, a state-of-the-art Education Center, conference and event space, and an outdoor amphitheater for ceremonies.

 

 


THE ARCHITECT

Rafael Viñoly Architects

Rafael Viñoly Architects is an internationally renowned architectural firm based in New York City with offices around the globe. Among the award-winning courthouses, museums, performing arts centers, convention centers, athletic facilities, and other diverse works the firm has spearheaded are U.S. icons including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, and Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, among many others.

“As someone who wasn’t born in America, but chose it as my home more than 35 years ago, it is the privilege of a lifetime to have the opportunity to design and build America’s next national treasure in Arlington –the American Dream City. This museum will proudly celebrate the service and sacrifice of the most courageous members of a great American institution –our armed services. I am humbled to play a part in inspiring current and future generations of Americans by recognizing these exceptional patriots and designing a building which will boldly demonstrate their deep love of country, of devotion to others, and unity.”

—Rafael Viñoly