Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum

Gyo Obata (of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum)
Washington, DC

Located close to the State Capitol Building, it was important that the structure remain a subordinate but still embody an architectural excellence. The building is made of four marble-encased cubes holding smaller exhibitions surrounded by the large open steel and glass atria holding large planes and missiles. The glazed ceiling appropriately brings in the sky to act as background for the planes, but the mullions are a distraction and fall short of that open feeling one would expect from the National Air and Space Museum.