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!
News: Studio Gang Breaks Ground on Expansion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City
Architectural Digest's Elizabeth Fazzare writes on the expansion to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) - the 230,000-square-foot Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation designed by Studio Gang with exhibits by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Ellen Futter, president of AMNH, regards the project as “[one that] can’t come soon enough… In this time of rampant misinformation and confusion, especially about the critical science-based issues of our century—climate change, human health, and other environmental threats.” Read the article.
Image: MIR and Studio Gang; Neoscape and Studio Gang
News: Holocaust Center starts fundraising for move with $10 million pledged, seeks tourism-tax funds
Matthew J. Palm, of the Orlando Sentinel, writes of the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida and its recently launched fundraising campaign for a new, more expansive museum in downtown Orlando, with exhibits design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Along with its move, the Museum plans to change its name to the Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity upon its completion in 2023. Read the full article.
Image: Courtesy of the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida
News: National Veterans Museum in Ohio Tells a Story
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes of RAA’s work at the National Veterans Museum (NVMM) one year post-opening. As said by Shelly Hoffman, associate director of external affairs for NVMM, “I get to meet the most incredible people from all over the world,” says a volunteer at the museum. “This place means so much to so many people. It’s a special place.” Read the full article here.
News: Exhibition at the Piłsudski / Sulejówek Museum
The concept and implementation of the Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek began in 2008, when the Józef Piłsudski Family Foundation signed a founding agreement with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The consortium of WXCA, RAA and Platige Image won the commission which opened in August 2020. Read the full story here.
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.
Review: Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap complete Pitzhanger Manor restoration, Architects' Journal
Rob Wilson explores the £12 million, three-year Pitzhanger Manor project in Ealing, West London, for which Ralph Appelbaum Associates developed the interpretation. Read the full article.
Image: Angelo Hornak
News: Finalists Named for 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence
This year’s Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) 2019 Global Awards for Excellence competition has selected 19 international finalists, including the Scioto Peninsula Cultural District in Columbus, Ohio – home to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, with exhibits designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Regarded as one of the real estate industry’s most prestigious awards, the Global Awards for Excellence commends their recipients on their development’s ability to responsibly utilize land and build a thriving community. Read the article.
Review: History Comes Alive at These Striking New Museums, Architectural Digest
Daniel Pembrey writes of new institutions raising the bar for immersive and engaging visitor experiences—including two for which Ralph Appelbaum Associates is honored to be designing the exhibitions: the International African American Museum at Historic Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, Germany. Read the full article.
Image: SHF Webcam
News: British Museum’s “Troy: myth and reality” shortlisted for Design Week Awards
Now in its 30th year, the Design Week Awards has just shared its 2020 results, and RAA’s “Troy: myth and reality” at the British Museum has been officially shortlisted! The exhibit will continue in the Award’s process in the Spaces: Exhibition Design category. Read the full shortlist and Winners Showcase here.
News: Laagberg as a Place of Learning
In 2017, on the outskirts of Wolfsburg, remains of a former concentration camp came to light. In September 2020, the competition for the construction of a memorial and learning site on the northern edge of the concentration camp was awarded to Hoskins Architects, guba + sgard Landscape Architects and exhibition designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Read the full story here.
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: Austria’s Weltmuseum is reopening with cultural treasures from five continents
The Lonely Planet reports on the upcoming re-opening of the Weltmuseum Wien, with 14 permanent exhibition galleries designed by RAA, writing: “The project aims to be a venue for connecting cultures and people from all over the world in a unique fashion, and is dedicated to the historical ties that Austria has to different destinations around the globe.” Read the Article.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Jackie Robinson’s 100th: A Day of Celebration
In January, Major League Baseball and the Robinson family started a year-long celebration focused on Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy—April 15, 2019 would have been his 100th birthday. “[The celebration] will culminate in December with the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in the SoHo district of downtown Manhattan;” RAA is honored to be designing the Museum. Read the Article.
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
News: Smashing the imaginative limits of museums
Terence Killeen, for the Irish Times, reviews the challenges that museums in the 21st Century face. He notes that the Ulysses Centre in Dublin, with exhibits designed by RAA, “will be an institution focused on the life and work of James Joyce" and, "that, it is hoped, will radically expand perceptions and understandings of the writer and his world.” Read the Article.
Image: Scott Tallon Walker Architects
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.
News: Museum of Literature Ireland Shortlisted for Museums + Heritage Awards’s International Project of the Year
It was just announced that the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)—for which RAA provided comprehensive exhibition design services—has been shortlisted for the Museums + Heritage Awards’s International Project of the Year! The Museum is off to a strong start for awards season! See the full shortlist here.
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
News: The 15 Most Noteworthy Museums Opening This Year
Architectural Digest outlines the 15 most noteworthy museums opening in 2018, which includes three RAA projects: the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, Washington; The Royal Alberta Museum (Human and Natural History Galleries), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and the National Veterans Memorial & Museum, Columbus, Ohio. Read the article.
Image: Mir / Courtesy of Nordic Museum
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
Review: Moynihan Train Hall: It’s Stunning. And, a First Step New York Times
The Moynihan Train Hall opened at dawn on New Year’s morning giving the city the uplifting gateway it deserves. RAA designed a History Wall within the Amtrak ticketing and baggage areas, directly adjacent to the Main Hall. Read the full story here.
News: Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s new design wins award
The Columbus dispatch reports on the Columbus’ Landmarks Foundation’s James B. Recchie Design Award for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital project, given in recognition of the improvements and expansion team for the Hospital. RAA provided the interior design. As stated by Nancy Recchie, “Its laser focus on the child and family is evident everywhere, from the creative wayfinding system, to public areas that are bright and uplifting, to the patient rooms…” Read the Article.
Image: Brad Feinknopf
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)
Opening: Zhuhai Museum & Planning Exhibition Hall
The new Zhuhai Museum opened to the public on October 26, 2020, with exhibitions designed by RAA. The museum houses 15,560 cultural relics in a 6,000 sqm (1.5 acre) exhibition area. Read the full story here.
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: Ambitious Transformation of Preston’s Harris to go ahead
The ambitious plans to make the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library a world-class cultural attraction and community hub for the 21st century are proceeding. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has approved critical funding for the project, providing the final £4.5m needed for the £10.02m #HarrisYourPlace scheme following a competitive bidding process. Read the full story here.
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: International African American Museum on track to open early in 2022
The International African American Museum (IAAM) is scheduled to open its doors early next year in 2022 in Charleston. Located near the South Carolina Aquarium, the museum is being built on sacred ground and will feature the Center for Family History, which will allow families to trace their roots back to Africa. Read the full story here.
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: How Seamus Heaney wrote: First look at a new exhibition
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, opened the new exhibit, Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, designed by RAA, at the new Bank of Ireland Cultural Heritage Centre on College Green in Dublin. “The process of creation is central to the exhibition, and how Heaney wrote and rewrote is on display, through manuscripts at different stages, with annotations and edits, and a video that portrays his writing and rewriting of a poem, ‘The Forge.’” Read more about the exhibit here.
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: How the Horniman's new gallery reveals the human stories behind 3,000 objects
RAA’s work designing the World Gallery at the Horniman Museum in London is detailed in Design Week. Philip Tefft, director of RAA London, discusses the design process and considerations for this new gallery of over “3,000 objects related to the movements and changing behaviours of humans throughout time.” Read the article here.
Review: In the cloud: we tour Lavazza’s new Turin headquarters, Wallpaper*
Nuvola Lavazza, the new headquarters of the eponymous Turin-based coffee company, opened on April 12, 2018. In addition to offices, Nuvola Lavazza includes spaces dedicated to culture, education, and leisure, such as an archaeological park, a restaurant, and the Lavazza Museum, which was designed by RAA to showcase the heritage of the Lavazza company. Read the review.
Image: Andrea Martiradonna
News: Art Fund Museum of the Year Finalist: Brooklands Museum
RAA worked as a key team member to design the new motoring and aviation exhibits at Brooklands Museum, the original home of British motorsport and aircraft manufacturing, which was nominated for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 prize. Read about the prize.
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: Creating the World's Most Ambitious Jewish Museum
RAA is working alongside architect Frank Gehry to bring the Asper Foundation’s vision for the World’s Jewish Museum into focus. The Museum will be located in Tel Aviv, and will celebrate past Jewish achievements, while looking to the future. Read the article here.
News: National Veterans Memorial and Museum to Open in Columbus, Ohio
Michael Solendar, for Metropolis Magazine, writes on the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. “Columbus, Ohio’s decade–long riverfront redevelopment project, which connects the city’s urban core with acres of greenspace and cultural amenities along city’s Scioto River, receives its crowning jewel…with the opening of the 53,000-square foot National Veterans Memorial and Museum.” Read the Article.
Image: Aerial Image Solutions
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: Brooklands Wins Coveted Museums + Heritage Award
RAA worked as a key team member to deliver The Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Flight Shed Museum, a site that is rich in racing and aviation history, to award-winning completion. The project involved “dismantling, restoring, and relocating a Grade 2 Listed WWII Bellman Hangar and reinterpreting it inside as an aircraft factory.” Brooklands Museum won the Museums and Heritage Award for Permanent Exhibition on May 16, 2018. Read about the awards.
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
Opening: World of wonder: the new exhibits at London’s eccentric Horniman Museum
RAA designed the new displays in the largest gallery of the Horniman Museum in London. The new space showcases objects from every inhabited region of the world from an anthropology collection amassed by the Museum’s founder, Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman. The Museum’s Director, Nick Merriman, underlines that the aim of the gallery is to highlight commonalities between people. “We have set out to show not what divides but what unites us…We have more in common than some people realise.” Read the article.
News: Lavazza Has Opened a Coffee Museum in Italy
Travel + Leisure wrote about Lavazza Museum, in the company’s new headquarters, being a draw to Turin. According to the architect Cino Zucchi, “the new Lavazza campus represents a new way of addressing the relationship between a private company and the city it is based in, between a building and the public space that surrounds it.” Read the article here.
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: 36 Hours in Vienna
The New York Times has included the RAA-designed Weltmuseum Wien in a list of interesting places to visit in Vienna, Austria. Chaney Kwak describes the Weltmuseum as a smart institution that utilizes its large ethnological collection to take a critical look at object-based history. Read the article.
Image: Franz Neumayr for The New York Times
Review: Charleston Needs That African American Museum. And Now. The New York Times
Michael Kimmelman of the New York times emphasizes the need for the realization of the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. He traces the history behind the development of this “…graceful project, long discussed and years overdue;” the plans for the Museum’s architectural and landscape design; and the power and importance of its location on Gadsden's Wharf on Charleston Harbor, the most active North American port of arrival in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Read the article.
Image: Pei Cobb Freed
Review: The Yeltsin Center Pulls In Crowds, The Moscow Times
The Moscow Times reviews the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg nearly three years after its opening in November 2015. Andrei Muchnik calls the Center “one of the most popular sites in the city,” describing the large crowds that still fill the hallways of the RAA-designed Center. Read the review.
News: Lavazza's New Coffee Museum Is Yet Another Reason to Visit Italy
Mental Floss details the interactive coffee cups that RAA developed for the Lavazza Museum. Visitors can carry the cups around with them on their tour of the Museum, to activate installations, save information about each visitor’s experience, and share digital displays on social media. Read more here.
Opening: Inside the New Nordic Museum: Behind the Scenes for One of Seattle's Most Anticipated Cultural Openings of the Year
The Nordic Museum will re-open at its new home in Seattle on May 5, 2018. The museum’s new building will house RAA-designed exhibitions showcasing the unique cultures and the long, rich histories of the five Nordic countries. Seattle Magazine calls the new building “a stunning, design-centric facility” that combines old and new to tell the story of Nordic heritage. Read the article.
News: The New Nordic Museum Prepares to Make Waves in Seattle and Beyond
The Nordic Museum’s new 57,000-square-foot home in Ballard, Washington, designed by architectural firm Mithun reflects the rugged geographic beauty of the Nordic countries. A grand Fjord Hall leads visitors to the beginning of the core exhibition experience, designed by RAA, that traces 12,000 years of Nordic and Nordic American history throughout the building. The museum’s collection includes over 77,000 items ranging from early-20th-century textiles to modern and contemporary Nordic furniture. Read the article.
Image: Design by Mithun / Image by Mir
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: International African American Museum launches genealogy center, research initiative
The Charleston City Paper Reports on the launch of the International African American Museum’s Center for Family History, a national genealogy center “dedicated solely to the study of African-American ancestry.” Toni Carrier, genealogist and founder of Lowcountry Africana, is leading the Center, and visitors to its website can already begin to explore, research, and submit records. The Museum, with exhibitions designed by RAA, is estimated to open in 2020. Read the Article.
Opening: 'A story about Alberta': Royal Alberta Museum shows off its shiny new digs
The Star Edmonton covered the recent October 3rd opening of the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM), now the largest museum in Western Canada. In addition to the Human History and Natural History wings, RAA also designed the First Nations galleries. Read about the opening here.
News: A New Museum Honoring America’s Veterans Opens in Ohio
Alex Palmer, for Smithsonian Magazine, writes about the opening of the National Veterans Memorial Museum, highlighting the importance and impact of the personal stories behind each artifact. “What sets the NVMM apart is its focus away from wars and historical events to the lives and stories of individual U.S. service members.” Read the Article.
Image: Aerial Impact Solutions
News: Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2019 shortlist announced
The Museums + Heritage Awards, now in their 17th year, recognize the innovators and leaders of the UK and international museums, galleries, and heritage visitor attractions. Three RAA-designed projects have been shortlisted for this prestigious honor: World Gallery at the Horniman Museum and Gardens; Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again; and the Royal Alberta Museum Renewal [for which RAA designed the Human and Natural History Galleries and undertook Executive Media and Graphic Production]. Read the Article.
Image: Museums + Heritage Awards
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: Alumni Park opening brings smiles, excitement
On October 6, 2017, the 1.3-acre Alumni Park, with interpretive exhibits design by RAA, opened at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. View the Photo Gallery.
Image: Jeff Miller
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: Brooklands Museum: Designing an aircraft factory exhibition inside a restored WWII hangar
Museums + Heritage outlines the inner workings of the Brooklands Museum updated facilities, for which RAA provided exhibition interpretation and planning. Composed of the Bellman Hangar (originally erected on the site in November 1940), a racetrack restored for outdoor events, a new Flight Shed that houses a workshop where courses are offered to teach people how to maintain historic aircraft, and additional exhibition spaces, the Brooklands Museum endeavors to connect visitors to the experience of the thousands of workers who built more than 18,800 planes on the site. Read the article.
Image: Andrew Lee
Opening: Museum of Northern Arizona Showcases New Exhibit
Opening: Seamus Heaney, our dad the poet, by Catherine, Chris and Mick Heaney
Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, the inaugural exhibition for the new Cultural and Heritage Centre in the Bank of Ireland’s former parliament building in Dublin, will open on July 4, 2018. The exhibit showcases key pieces of the poet’s archives, which he personally donated to the National Library of Ireland in 2011, two years before his death. RAA designed the exhibition, which, like the new coinciding Faber & Faber collection, 100 Poems, interprets the entire arc of Heaney’s writing life. The Irish Times interviews Heaney’s children about their part in carefully considering their father’s work for these two projects. Read the interview here.
Image: Cyril Byrne for The Irish Times
Opening: The Highly Anticipated National Veterans Memorial and Museum Opens Its Doors
Nick Malfi, for Architectural Digest, writes about the development, design, and importance of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum: “When the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) opens its doors…it’s not just that history will be made. Rather, it will be the culmination of meticulous planning and patriotic ambition toward a poetic quest to preserve the memory of the millions who have served, and those who are next in line.” Read the article.
Image: Aerial Image Solutions
News: New Home for Gems and Minerals at the Museum of Natural History
The New York Times reports on the plans for, and designs of, the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History, set to open in 2019. The 11,000 square foot Hall, design by RAA, will “ showcase 4,500 specimens, explain how scientists classify them and illuminate how humans have used them for personal adornment, tools and technology.” Read the Article.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Stunning New, Permanent “Wilton’s Story” Exhibit Opens at Historical Society
Connecticut’s History, Wilton’s Story, the new permanent exhibition at the Wilton Historical Society, opened on April 21. The exhibition was designed by RAA, and traces the history of Wilton, Connecticut from its origins as a pre-Colonial town to today. Allison Gray Sanders, the co-director of the Historical Society, remarks that “This is a first for Wilton – a museum exhibit that traces the history and cultural dimensions of Wilton, and gives context for the Society’s historic buildings and collections.” Read the article.
News: A royal welcome for the new Nordic Museum in Ballard
Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary attended the new Nordic Museum’s grand-opening celebration in Seattle, Washington on May 5, 2018. Members of the Danish Royal Guard were also in attendance, as were artists who had contributed their work to the Museum’s entry experience. RAA designed the core exhibition program which traces, and showcases, the evolution of Nordic life and culture. See the photo gallery here.
Review: Stations of a Soldier's Life, Wall Street Journal
Edward Rothstein reviews the exhibitions – designed by Ralph Appebaum Associates – of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “[It] is not a war museum guided by materiel, strategy and context; it is a museum about the lives of those who served out of duty and belief.” Read the Review.
News: Hoskins Wins Contest for Wolfsburg Concentration Camp Memorial
The team of Hoskins Architects, RAA and guba+sgard has won an international competition for a memorial and learning centre at the site of a former concentration camp in the Laagberg suburb of Wolfsburg, Germany. The project will create a new centre for remembrance, learning and communication at the ruins – discovered three years ago – of a former prison barracks and outpost of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Read the full story here.
Review: Work of a genius: architect Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor is testament to his family’s turbulence and tragedy, Telegraph
Hermione Eyre, of the Telegraph, writes on the history of, and her experience in, the newly opened Pitzhanger Manor. “I left Pitzhanger feeling that it is captured perfectly by Goethe’s phrase ‘architecture is frozen music’. Soane’s hope, talent and ambition of a brief few years is here: arrested, permanent, frozen at the moment of highest aspiration.” Read the Review.
Image: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
News: Troy: Myth and Reality Review—Bearing Gifts, Without Horse
The Guardian reviews the British Museum’s show Troy—with exhibition design by RAA—which runs from November 21, 2019-March 8, 2020. Anchoring the article is the sentiment: “But what is so remarkable about this British Museum show, which sometimes feels as sprawling as Troy itself, is the many variations of this story it encompasses." Read the full article here.
Review: Royal Alberta Museum an anthropological triumph, Edmonton Journal
For the Edmonton Journal, Fish Griwkowsky reviews the new Royal Alberta Museum, describing it as a “breathtaking anthropological masterpiece worthy of its name.” Read the Article.
Image: Fish Griwkowsky / Postmedia
News: High-tech Partnership will Catapult New Orlando Museum onto World Stage
The new Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity, with exhibitions designed by RAA, has formed a partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation founded by film director Steven Spielberg that will bring the foundation’s 55,000 video interviews to Orlando. Read the full story here.
News: Plans to revamp Preston’s Harris Museum have scooped £4.5m in lottery funding
The grant joins a further £3.6m already committed by Preston City Council; Lancashire County Council; the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal; Arts Council England and the Friends of the Harris. The #HarrisYourPlace project will make the Grade I-listed Harris the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library and make the building more accessible to welcome an additional 100,000 visitors per year. Read the full story here.
News: Six shortlisted in Museum of London underground gallery contest
The Museum of London has selected its six finalists to continue in the running to design their new subterranean gallery – the first exhibit to be commissioned in their relocation to their new £180 million West Smithfield headquarters; Ralph Appelbaum Associates is one of the teams shortlisted for the £7.5 million project. The Museum has shared that "the winning team will create a Past Time exhibition within the vaults (pictured) that lie beneath the historic 1883 General Market building in West Smithfield." Read the article.
Image: Architects’ Journal
News: Vienna's new-look Weltmuseum takes on colonialism
The Art Newspaper reports on the re-opening of Vienna’s Museum of Ethnology as the 4,000 square meter Weltmuseum Wien (World Museum Vienna), with exhibitions by RAA. As stated by the director, “The provenance of the collections is essential, and the voices of colleagues from the countries of origin of the collections explain to our visitors why they are historically important—that is an essential part of the new presentation.” Read the Article.
News: New $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond also depicts Winnipeg human rights museum
CBC News reports on the new Canadian $10 bill, which includes both a portrait of Viola Desmond, a human rights activist often hailed as Canada’s Rosa Parks, and an image of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. “It's hard to put into words how proud and excited I was to learn that our museum would be featured on this historic bank note,” remarked Dr. John Young, the president and CEO of the museum. Young also described the new $10 bill as “a reflection of the museum's purpose to enhance the public's understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue.” Read the article.
Review: Nuvola Lavazza: why the coffee company's Turin HQ is a hot tourist destination, Financial Review
Financial Review visited Lavazza’s new Turin-based global headquarters, which includes the RAA-designed Lavazza Museum. Frencesca Lavazza, board member of the Lavazza Group, notes, “The idea of the museum is not only a brand experience but a cultural one.” Read the review.
News: How the Exhibit Designer Behind the Obama Presidential Center Captures the Attention of Children and Adults Alike
“Aki Carpenter designed exhibits for President Obama, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Freedom Rides Museum,” reports Fast Company. Read the article here.
Review: A Shrine to Honor Service, Wall Street Journal
Julie Iovine, for the Wall Street Journal, reviews the architectural and landscape design of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “The emotionally charged materials contained by and combined with this serene but animated space move one both physically and psychologically on an uplifting path toward a better understanding of how essential service is to perpetuating the life of the communities we cherish and that make up our nation.” Read the Review.
News: National Veterans Memorial and Museum opens in Columbus, Ohio
Elizabeth Blasius discusses the National Veterans Memorial and Museum's striking architecture, veteran-focused galleries, and the recently redeveloped Scotio Penninsula: "While other museums are dedicated to individual branches of the military or specific conflicts, the NVMM is the first museum of its kind in the United States that tells the story of American veterans as a whole, focusing specifically on how they, as civilians, continue to affect their communities." Read the Article.
News: New details of Natural History Museum extension in New York
Dezeen writes on the release of additional renderings by Studio Gang as the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation breaks ground at the American Museum of Natural History, Ralph Appelbaum, President of Ralph Appelbaum Associates noted: "The Gilder Center's light-filled canyons will give a generation of visitors memorable interactions with the passionately collected and scientifically researched evidence of our place in nature." Read the Article.
Images: MIR and Studio Gang; Neoscape and Studio Gang
News: A Peek Inside The New Humboldt Forum In Berlin
With the Humboldt Forum set to open December 17, the museum opened its doors ahead of a press conference announcing the forthcoming exhibitions. Envisioned as an international forum of art, culture and science, the exhibitions will present some of Europe’s most extensive, oldest and most valuable ethnographic collections from Africa, Asia, America and Oceania creating a dialogue with and between the world’s cultures. Read the full story here.
News: American Museum of Natural History to Open New Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals
A brilliant showcase for one of the greatest collections of its kind, the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will open on February 17, 2021. RAA designed the 11,000 square foot halls that also include an engaging guide to recent sicence about our dynamic planet. Read the full story here.
News: President and Mrs. Obama Announce Conceptual Vision for Design of Obama Presidential Center
“Campus Setting Will Include Presidential Museum, Public Plaza and Space that Features a ‘Working Center for Citizenship;’ Plan Revitalizes Jackson Park to Re-Establish Connection to Lake Michigan and Provide Open Community Gathering Space
Chicago, IL – Today, at a community event hosted by President and Mrs. Obama, the Obama Foundation released the conceptual vision and site map for the Obama Presidential Center. More than a building or museum, the Obama Presidential Center will be a living, working center for engagement — an ongoing project for the community and world to shape what it means to be an active citizen in the 21st century. The Center will include a state of the art museum, classrooms, labs, and outdoor spaces, and it will conduct programs that will give visitors not just memories, but real tools to create change in their own communities. It will be based on the South Side of Chicago but, via partnerships, programs, and digital initiatives, have projects all over the city, the country, and the world.”
“Ralph Appelbaum Associates will lead the exhibition design team for the OPC, in partnership with Civic Projects and Normal, and artists and educators Amanda Williams, Andres Hernandez, and Norman Teague.”
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
News: Holocaust Museum Houston Unveils Expansion Plan
Molly Glentzer reports on the planned expansion of the Holocaust Museum Houston – which will triple the Museum’s size - as well as the $15 million gift from patrons Lester and Sue Smith. RAA is designing the exhibits for the expansion, which will “allow the museum to significantly broaden its scope and community outreach.” Read the Article.
News: Long-awaited Alumni Park unites downtown campus area, creates 'cultural district'
The Wisconsin State Journal reports on the development of the 1.3 acre Alumni Park project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With interpretive designs by RAA, it is set to be “a mosaic of the alumni experience.” Read the Article.
Image: John Hart, State Journal
News: Holocaust Museum Houston Unveils $34 Million Expansion
Forbes explores the newly opened Holocaust Museum Houston, with an expansion that more than doubled the museum in size, “the spaces are meant to evoke HMH’s message: From Darkness, Light.” With architecture designed by Mucasey & Associates Architects and exhibitions by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, HMH has redefined its mission as more than a museum dedicated to the Holocaust, but as a beacon of human rights and social justice. Read the article.
Image: Courtesy of Holocaust Museum Houston
News: Six teams shortlisted for National Pulse Memorial and Museum
Sydney Franklin writes on the six confirmed finalists shortlisted for the National Pulse Memorial and Museum competition in Orlando, Florida. “[The] memorial and museum [will] honor the survivors, first responders, and the 49 members of Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community who lost their lives in the horrific shooting at the PULSE nightclub on June 12, 2016.” The teams include MASS Design Group partnered with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Sasaki, Sanford Biggers, Richard Blanco, and Porsha Olayiwola. The teams will provide concepts later this year, building on onePULSE Foundation’s mandate “We will not let hate win.” Read the full story.
Image: Courtesy onePULSE Foundation
News: The Holocaust Museum Houston reopens Saturday, and it’s about more than the Holocaust
The Houston Chronical reports on the reopening of the Holocaust Museum Houston, following a three-year effort which has not only nearly tripled its size, but also expanded its mission and reach. The Museum is to be the first fully bilingual Holocaust Museum in the country with exhibits, designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, presented in both English and Spanish. CEO Kelly J. Zúñiga noted that a main aim is to leave those who visit with the feeling that they can change the world - "It's not a passive experience." Read the article.
Image: Dave Rossman, Contributor
News: House and Home: Piłsudski’s Old Manor Opens as Museum
Józef Piłsudski Museum’s opening ceremony in Sulejówek, Poland was held this year on August 15th, as part of the celebrations that took place throughout the country to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw. The permanent exhibition, design by RAA, is divided into six galleries that cover the stages of Piłsudski’s life and work towards creating an independent Poland. Read the full story here.
News: Preston Council announces Harris re-imagining team
After securing National Lottery development funding in 2019, Preston City Council appointed a team of suppliers and consultants, including RAA, to spearhead the Harris Museum’s transformation into a cultural center for Preston housing. The Harris Museum will be the UK’s first blended museum, art gallery and library. Visit the Harris Museum’s website to view RAA London’s most recent renderings and video presentation. Read the full story here.
News: Museum of Literature Ireland and "Troy, myth and reality" at the British Museum win the Red Dot Award
Two RAA-designed projects have won the prestigious Red Dot Award: The Museum of Literature Ireland and "Troy, myth and reality" at the British Museum. Both won in the Exhibition Design category of Brands & Communication Design.
Image: Museum of Literature Ireland - Andrew Lee
News: National Nordic Museum To Be Honored As 2020 Buildy Award Winners
One of two winners for the 2020 Museums Symposium’s Buildy Award, the National Nordic Museum has been recognized for its “leadership and exemplary accomplishment through the planning, construction, and life after opening.” The Museum has become a premier destination and institution, both in the Pacific Northwest and globally, for Nordic arts and culture. Read the full story here.
News: Accessibility and Architectural Heritage at Core of £10.7m Harris Redevelopment Plans
The Harris Museum, a classic example of Victorian architecture, opened at time when considerations of a building’s esthetic far outweighed thoughts of universal access. RAA, in collaboration with Buttress Architects Ltd., aims to address these issues by implementing a 21st century design scheme that also preserves the structures’s character and beauty. Read the full story here.
News: Studio Libeskind's Ngaren museum to track human evolution in Kenyan landscape
Ngaren: The Museum of Humankind is to break ground in 2022, providing an "....'unprecedented educational and scientific experience' covering two million years of human history." Initiated by Kenyan paleoanthropologist, conservationist and politician Richard Leaky, the project - with architectural design by Studio Libeskind and interpretive planning by Ralph Appelbaum Associates - is to “anchor all walks of life to Africa." Read the full article.
Image: Studio Libeskind
News: First look inside the new Museum of Literature Ireland
Ahead of its public opening, Gemma Tipton of the Irish Times reviews the new Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), with exhibitions design by RAA. Tipton also considers the “role of a literary museum,” noting that: “literary visitors to Dublin are looking for a different sense of things: they want to come to the city, and a country that spawned such an array of literary greats, and see if they can find some substance to the intangible thing that we call inspiration. A museum can be a focus for that, and Simon O’Connor, MoLI’s director.” Read the full article.
News: CN, CNB open Cherokee National History Museum
On August 8th, the Cherokee National History Museum opened in downtown Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in the former Cherokee National Capitol Building. Cherokee Nation’s Business Cultural Tourism senior vice president Molly Javis noted that the Museum “‘is the culmination of years of thoughtful planning and careful execution in effort to provide an engaging experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in Cherokee history, culture and art.’” Principal Chief Bill Baker emphasized: “‘All the elected officials take an oath of office that we will protect and promote the culture, the heritage and the history of our Cherokee people. And this [Museum] truly represents the modern democracy that we have after the removal.’” RAA provided exhibition planning and design services for the project. Read the full article.
News: RAA Berlin’s Director Tim Ventimiglia Presents at the International Council of Museums's 25th General Conference
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) held its 25th General Conference
in Kyoto, Japan September 1-7, 2019. RAA Berlin’s Director Tim Ventimiglia presented a Keynote address: “Leveraging History for the Future: Designing Two New Forums for Intercultural Exchange” at the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography (ICME) event, in addition to giving a talk for the International Committee for Architecture and Museum Techniques (ICAMT) and participating in panel discussions throughout the week. Read the full article.
News: How Lonnie Bunch Built a Museum Dream Team
Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and the former director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), reflects on his experience creating NMAAHC in a selection from his new book A Fool’s Errand. At the close of the excerpt, he notes that “Museums are at their best when the collaboration among designers, curators and educators sharpens the interpretive and visual edges of the exhibitions, making the past accessible in a way that provides both emotional and intellectual sustenance. The partnership with RAA enabled the museum to tell, in John Hope Franklin’s words, ‘the unvarnished truth.’ Or in the words of a visitor who stopped me as I walked through the museum one day and thanked me for exhibitions that ‘do not shy away from the pain but dull that pain by celebrating the wonders of a community.’” Read the full article.
News: National Veterans’ Memorial and Museum's Scioto Peninsula Cultural District Wins 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence
The Scioto Peninsula Cultural District of Columbus Ohio has been recognized with an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Excellence Award. The National Veterans’ Memorial and Museum, with exhibitions, media, and branding by RAA, is one of the four distinct amenities that makes up the 48.2 acres District. As noted by jury chair Jacinta McCann, global design adviser at AECOM: “‘In the end, the qualities that determined the winners included not only comprehensive design excellence, but also financing, programmatic innovation, sustainability, social equity, access and mobility enhancements, and local and regional economic stimulus.’” Read the full article.
News: Universal Hip Hop Museum Among Projects to Receive Funding in Bronx $18 Million+ City Funding
The Bronx City Council Delegation announced over $18 million in capital spending for their borough in the coming 2020 Fiscal year budget. Projects to receive funding include the Universal Hip Hop Museum, for which RAA is providing exhibition design services following the development of fundraising materials. Council Member Rubén Díaz Sr. noted: “I am proud of the collaborative efforts of this Bronx Delegation. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition.” Read the full article.
News: RAA to Design a Modern Cultural Center in Lublin
RAA, in collaboration with WXCA, won first place in the competition for the commission of the Museum of the Eastern Lands in Lublin, Poland. The winning concept underscored the preservation and restoration of the building’s valuable historical and architectural elements. The exhibition will reflect the eastern land as a space subject to change. It is a region that has dealt with constantly changing borders, but is also one of cultural fluency, coexistence of people, as well as a land of refuge—the backbone of Polish culture." Read the full article here.
News: International African American Museum Breaks Ground Amid Fanfare
After nearly 20 years of development, the International African American Museum (IAAM) has officially broken ground with a ceremony attended by national and international dignitaries; RAA is honored to be the project’s exhibit designer. As noted in the article: “The Museum will honor the site where these enslaved Africans arrived and thousands died, tell their untold stories, and in doing so, will promote compassion and empathy among all people.” Read the full article here.
News: The International African-American museum in South Carolina breaks ground
Set to open in late 2021, the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina has broken ground. Originally proposed in 2000, the project will stand on what came to be known in the late 1700s as Gadsden’s Wharf—the most prominent disembarkation point for enslaved African Americans brought to the United States. An estimated 80 percent of African Americans can trace their family history back to the wharf. The exhibits, designed by RAA, include a social justice action lab as well as a family history center for ancestral research. Read the full story here.
News: Pima County’s New Visitor Center opens downtown
On January 18th, the Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center in Tucson, opened its doors to the new 7,500 square foot renovation. Located inside of the Historic Pima County Courthouse, the Center is the newest addition to the region’s tourism industry. “[A] two-pronged effort led by Pima County to not only preserve an iconic landmark, but also transform it into an economic development asset for the region, the Center includes a gift shop, mini-theater and several interactive displays designed to inform, educate and direct folks to museums, shopping, festivals, dining, mountains, rivers, lakes, ruins, trails, and more.” Read the full article here.
News: Prince William vists Museum of Literature Ireland: UK and Ireland must ‘work together’ after Brexit
On a recent visit emphasizing the strong bond between the United Kingdom and Ireland, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a visit to the newly opened Museum of Literature Ireland, Dublin. The Irish Times reports, “Among the exhibits he viewed at the museum were the first copy of the first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses signed by author.” Read the full story here.
News: The Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Centre
Officially open as of January 2020, the new Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Center is located 50 kilometers southeast of the city of Sharjah. A region of great prehistoric and geological significance, the site lends itself to an abundant collection of marine fossils, which are over 65 million years old, in addition to astounding mountain ranges and ancient burial sites which date back to the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The five interconnected pods, which house the exhibition spaces designed by RAA, were inspired by “the region’s significant geological phenomena — including deep earth structures, plate tectonics, geomorphology and sedimentation.” Read the full story here.
News: Museum of Natural History Unveils New Hall of Gems After Years Of Renovation — And It Looks Incredible
Following three years of renovations, and in time to commemorate the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, the Allison and Roberto Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History will finally reopen in the Fall of 2020. The hall, which is 11,000 square feet, will include “interactive displays and touchable specimens and media, [that] will tell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral types arose on Earth, how scientists classify them, and how humans have used them throughout the millennia for personal adornment, tools, and technology.” Read the full story here.
News: Manga Beats Rembrandt and Captain Cook to be Named the British Museum's Most Popular Show Last Year
The largest exhibition on the comic genre outside of Japan, Manga has been crowned the most popular exhibition to be featured at the British Museum in 2019. According to visitorship statistics produced by The Art Newspaper's Most Popular, Manga saw 1,920 people daily, as compared to Rembrandt: Thinking of Paper, which saw around 100 less; Reimagining Captain Book Pacific Perspectives, 1,666 daily; and I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria, which saw 1,325 a day. In 2019, the British Museum saw a 7% increase in visitorship, greeting 6.2 million people. Read the full story here.
News: New Downtown Gem Museum Nears Completion
Tucson’s new 12,000-square-foot gem and mineral museum is expected to be completely finished and ready to open within the next month, though it’s unclear when it will be open to public. The museum features more than 2,200 specimens from collections held by the University of Arizona and its loan partners, and is one of the latest new attractions waiting to make its post-pandemic debut at the historic courthouse. Read the full story here.
News: The Museum of Natural History is unearthing a brand new Hall of Gems & Minerals this June
The American Museum of Natural History has announced that The Allison and Roberto Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals will finally be opening this spring. Closed in 2017 to be redesigned, the 11,000 square feet new hall has been updated in both design and technology with interactive displays, touchable specimens, and media. The new exhibits will feature about 5,000 specimens from 95 different countries. Read the full story here.
News: Ralph Appelbaum Associates partners with Imperial War Museums
Ralph Appelbaum Associates has been developing two new galleries for London’s Imperial War Museum: The Second World War Galleries and Holocaust Galleries. To achieve a cohesive viewing experience, the Galleries have been strategically developed in accordance with each other to make clear the connection between both events. These Galleries aim to construct an accurate representation of the historical era as those with physical recollections of the time period dwindle.
News: Ralph Appelbaum Associates designs UA Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum
Working in partnership with the University of Arizona, the Pima County, project architects Poster Mirto McDonald, and fabricator Design and Production, Ralph Appelbaum Associates has designed the UA Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum; it aims to become a must-see global destination.
Review: Why Geology Is Our Destiny New York Times
The New York Times contributor Dennis Overbye explores the connection between geology, life, and time - “Geology is biological destiny: Whatever minerals land or are deposited in a place determine what or who can make a living there millions of years later” - through a tour of the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals. Read the full story here.
Image: Vincent Tullo for The New York Times