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Kogod Courtyard | by NCinDC
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Kogod Courtyard

The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard located in the Old Patent Office Building, a National Historic Landmark, in Washington, D.C. The courtyard, named after local philanthropists Robert P. Kogod and his wife, was designed by the world renowned architectural firm Foster + Partners.

 

Via the National Portrait Gallery website:

"The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, a signature element of the renovated Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, is a part of the building [that] houses the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

 

The enclosed courtyard with its elegant glass canopy designed by world–renowned architects Foster + Partners provides a distinctive, contemporary accent to the museums' Greek Revival building. Foster + Partners was assisted by internationally acclaimed landscape designer Kathryn Gustafson of Seattle–based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. in the creation of the courtyard's interior design, with a variety of trees and plantings, as well as a unique water feature. The courtyard is named for major donors Robert and Arlene Kogod, Washington philanthropists and art collectors.

 

Foster + Partners worked with the Smithsonian to create an innovative enclosure for the 28,000–square–foot space at the center of the building that was sensitive to the historic structure and yet added a modern element to the building. The light–filled Kogod Courtyard is a major gathering place in the nation's capital. It is a welcoming space downtown, as well as a public venue for the museums' performances, lectures and special events. Free public wireless Internet access (Wi–Fi) is available in the courtyard. The Courtyard Cafè offers casual dining during public museum hours (11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.).

 

In 2004, following an international competition, the Smithsonian announced that a panel of jurors had selected the designs of London–based architects Foster + Partners. Foster + Partners has designed numerous innovative and award–winning projects, such as the Great Court at the British Museum in London and the Reichstag, the New German Parliament in Berlin. The firm's most recent project in the United States is the Hearst Tower in New York City.

 

The roof is a wavy glass–and–steel structure that appears to float over the courtyard, letting in natural light but protecting visitors from the elements. The double–glazed glass panels are set in a grid completely supported by eight aluminum–clad columns located around the perimeter of the courtyard so that the weight of the roof does not affect the National Historic Landmark building.

 

The courtyard, which can be viewed from the museums' galleries, accommodates an array of activities, including art–making programs, children's activities, concerts and performances."

 

Note: This is one of my older photos I originally uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

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Taken on May 29, 2010