- The Smithsonian awarded Perkins&Will the project from among five shortlisted firms.
- The Center will deliver STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education in innovative ways while prioritizing access to underserved communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Global architecture firm Perkins&Will has been selected to design the Bezos Learning Center at one of the Smithsonian’s most visited institutions, the National Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian selected Perkins&Will from among five shortlisted firms based on the architects’ ample experience designing cultural and education spaces, the composition and credentials of its management team, and the strength of the team’s aesthetic approach. The team’s conceptual approach and vision were inspired by the shape of a spiral galaxy. Facing the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Learning Center will aim to enrich the imagination of students and other groups through learning and exhibition spaces, a public observatory, and a restaurant.
“The spiral galaxy—our source of creative inspiration—is all about infinite possibilities,” says Ralph Johnson, design director for Perkins&Will and lead designer for the Bezos Learning Center conceptual approach and vision. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum, and other key stakeholders to create a design that will inspire the next generation of air and space explorers while honoring the historical context of our National Mall.”