The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will open on October 27 in Columbus, Ohio to honour and tell the story of US military veterans.
Allied Works Architecture designed the exterior of the building, OLIN created a welcoming green aesthetic and Ralph Appelbaum Associates managed the interior. Museum exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum has previously worked on the Museum of African American History, the Jewish Museum in Tel Aviv and the Lavazza coffee museum.
The museum houses 30,000 square feet of exhibition space including a rooftop sanctuary for visitors to reflect. More than $82 million has been raised, through private philanthropy and public partnerships, to fully fund the construction costs and provide the beginnings of an endowment for this organisation.
Leslie H. Wexner, who first envisioned the museum, said: “Rather early on in the process, we decided this museum wasn’t going to be about guns or tanks or the machines of war but rather about the American veteran. In our research we found that the American veteran’s story is singular throughout the country’s history—from the Revolutionary War through today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—soldiers have been expressing the same emotions in their letters. It’s all so dramatic, heartbreaking, and, at times, beautiful.”
Brad Cloepfil, principal at Allied Works Architecture, said of the building’s design: “The building is a poetic act. Its role is to make a place that’s like no other. As a result, there was no direct inspiration in the design. The genesis of the design was really about creating a sacred domain for veterans. If you break it down, the building is one big processional up the ramp that lifts each visitor from the earth and toward the sky.”
Construction began in December 2015. Future plans point towards an educational online curriculum and an interactive, virtual tour experience.
Image courtesy National Veterans Memorial and Museum