DC Architecture Tour

by Rakks | May 12th, 2011

Skidmore Owings & Merrill at Smithsonian Museum of American History
Photo via Skidmore Owings & Merrill

This week, Rakks is taking you to the nation’s capital to highlight historic landmarks, cutting-edge contemporary architecture, and the best spots to see our installations!

Renovated in 2009 by renowned architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the Smithsonian Museum of American History includes a gift shop complete with Rakks SD and SC standards and Rakks brackets.

Rakks Shelving Brackets and Wall Mounted Standards

Aside from new retail operations, this modern update included a dramatic skylight in the central atrium, a new grand staircase to the second floor, a welcome center, the innovative addition of an abstracts flag installation (top picture) to mark the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery entrancing and much more.

The Smithsonian is not the only DC landmark to include Rakks. At the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the bookstore and visitors center, you can find Rakks recessed C standards and shelf brackets.
Rakks wall standards and shelf brackets at the International Monetary Fund

From Howard University and Howard University Hospital to George Washington University, Anacosta Library, National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters and offices, residences, retail shops and restaurants throughout greater DC, Rakks shelving and architectural specialty products are supporting the movers and shakers of our nation’s capital.

Of course, you may want to see more than just great Rakks installations on your next trip to Washington, DC. Stopping at locales like the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building are musts but AIA DC and Arch Daily also offer other options for architecture-seekers.

Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from SOM-Gordan Bunshaf
Photo via Arch Daily
The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from SOM-Gordan Bunshaft provides a unique collection of international modern and contemporary art in all media from major artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Arguably one the most impressive and moving monuments in DC, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was designed by Maya Ying Lin. Comprised of two black granite walls, each over 245 feet in length, the memorial features the names of the 58,267 U.S. service men and women listed as casualties or missing in action over the course of the Vietnam War.

Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Photo by Tim Hursley via Smithsonian American Art Museum
Opened in 2007, the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum designed by Foster + Partners features an elegant glass canopy that seems to flaot over the 28,000 sq ft courtyard. This stunning glass and steel roof protects museum guests from bad weather while still letting in natural light.

2009 AIA DC Excellence in Architecture Award winner, the Kipp DC Benning Road campus
Photos via Architizer
Winner of a 2009 AIA DC Excellence in Architecture Award, the Kipp DC Benning Road campus project from Devrouax + Purnell Architects and Studio 27 Architecture involved a two phase plan to create an elementary school (opened in June 2008) and a middle school (completed in March 2009). The 50000 sq ft project includes open areas for play in both courtyards and on the roof as well as a new gymnasium.

National Cathedral Visitor Gateway
Photos via SmithGroup
Solving safety, security and aesthetic concerns due to increased visitor traffic to the Washington National Cathedral, SmithGroup designed the Washington National Cathedral Visitor Gateway which won the AIA DC Merit in Architecture Award in 2009. The underground parking garages were created to accommodate both cars and tour buses and include a welcoming lobby area complete with gift shop.

We hope you enjoyed this tour of DC and stayed tuned for more Rakks sightings in other great U.S. architectural cities!

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