Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designs spy museum to stand out in Washington DC - architecture and design

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designs spy museum to stand out in Washington DC

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has completed its first cultural building in the US: the International Spy Museum in America's capital, which features an angled black volume, splayed red columns and a zig-zagged glass wall.
The International Spy Museum is located in Washington DC's L'Enfant Plaza ? a large historic plaza in the city's southwest quarter that is encircled by older commercial buildings.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designed the dynamic building to draw people's attention to the site and to be visible from the National Mall ? a long, grassy area home to the city's iconic monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Measuring 140,000 square feet (13,006 square metres), it comprises an angular black box encased in bold red columns that rise 70 feet (21 metres).  The structure leans out towards the top resembling an upside-down trapezoid.
"It is clear that we are playing a game of contrast," senior design partner Ivan Harbour told Dezeen. "We really wanted it to reach out to the street, to really create this signal."
"It had to lean out," Harbour added. "If we had held it back to that line [of the original property], it would have been hard to create a visual impact."

The angled black facade is disguised on the western edge of the museum by the folded glass volumes that forms a walkway inside. Behind the tessellating glass facade, the stair hangs from sloped red columns that form a key feature of th...

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