The stories of the 30 million men and women who have worn the U.S. Army uniform since 1775 will now be told within a new national museum that was introduced to the public during a grand opening ceremony on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11.
The National Museum of the United States Army is a national landmark located on over 84 acres in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It is expected to welcome 500,000 visitors per year.
WSP USA was part of the team working for the Army Historical Foundation, that turned a long-developing dream into an architecturally stunning reality. The firm provided commissioning services that supported the goal of achieving Gold certification U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The stainless-steel façade of the $200 million building represents the strength of the Army, while the glass at the top of the sixth-floor tower acts as a beacon of safety and security. Inside, the 185,000-square-foot museum will house 45,000 pieces of Army art and artifacts. The building includes a main building with a large lobby, exhibition galleries, a learning center, rooftop garden, café, and administrative functions.
The museum experience extends outside as well, as the site features a memorial garden, a 200-seat amphitheater, a parade field with grandstand and an Army Trail with interpretive station.
For David Nichols, WSP vice president and project manager, this was a project of personal significance over the past 15 years.
“I am quite invested in this project both personally and professionally,” Nichols said. “As a veteran, I have a deep desire to show our country and the world how the courage, diversity, ingenuity and commitment that our service members embody the very best of America.”