National Building Museum

NBM 1.jpg

The National Building Museum

Today I spent most of my time at this building, the National Building Museum. The Commission of Fine Arts is located here and I had to present two projects in front of an architectural review board. I never look forward to these bureaucratic activities, but they are a requirement if you are completing any architectural alterations in historic districts. Luckily the two projects were approved in concept design, so they can now move forward.

It was a busy day and I feel lucky that these presentations are located in one of my favorite buildings in DC. It was originally the veterans pension building after the Civil War. I love the monumentally of this building and how also it is made of simple materials. Brick, the most malleable of building materials out there.

The one design feature I absolutely love on this building is the terra-cotta frieze that runs the entire parameter of the building. The compositional methods of repeating objects and still adding variety is something that just fascinates me. I can spend hours just adoring this feature of the building, however if you ever get a chance this is also a great museum to visit and learn more about architecture and buildings.

Architectural friezes are also a specific interest I have with painting, earlier this year I began painting a series of still life friezes. The goal of these paintings was to learn about this decorative design method. I wanted to experiment with repetition of objects while also including some differentation. Another aspect of these long linear compositions is how they can captivate and tell a story.