The Navy has unveiled five design options for the service’s new national museum, which is slated to open in 2025 and provide greater access for the public.
The concepts stemmed from the Navy’s Artistic Ideas competition in which 37 architectural firms submitted proposals. The Navy then selected designs from five firms: Bjarke Ingels Group; DLR Group; Frank Gehry Partners; Perkins & Will, and Quinn Evans.
All five design ideas include a ceremonial courtyard, and plans to accommodate Navy artifacts including a Corsair aircraft, a Swift Boat and the sail of a submarine.
“We are pleased to display five visions for the future of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said, according to a Navy news release. ”While each concept is different, all of them show how we might celebrate our Navy’s accomplishments, honor our veterans and point the way toward the Navy’s future.”
The new museum, to be built outside the Navy Yard’s Tingey Gate in Washington, D.C., will take up approximately 270,000 square feet and include about 100,000 square feet of net gallery space. The Navy announced the preferred location for the museum in October.
“The concepts unveiled today are a crucial step in exploring what is possible for the new National Museum of the U.S. Navy,” said retired Adm. Samuel Cox, the director of Naval History and Heritage Command and curator of the Navy, said in the news release. “We’ll tell the story of the Navy’s history as it continues to unfold, and the ideas developed by our finalists herald a new way of honoring that history by inviting visitors to participate.”
The Navy’s current museum opened in 1963 in an old gun factory within the Navy Yard.
Cox told Navy Times last year that the current museum “is not meeting the mission of telling the Navy’s story to the American public.”
“The base is very hard to get into due to security requirements that have only gotten more stringent over the years,” Cox said. “So, we are not going to have the Navy the nation needs if we don’t have the support of Congress, and you won’t have the support of Congress if you don’t have the support of the American people.”
Other museums the Navy operates include the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida; the National Museum of the American Sailor in Great Lakes, Illinois; and the United States Navy Submarine Force Museum, in Groton, Connecticut.
The design ideas will remain on display for public viewing at the Navy’s existing National Museum on the Washington Navy Yard. Visit the museum’s website for hours and access guidance. NHHC plans additional public showcases this summer.