NMAI Visit – Day Four


CRC Rotunda 


Another day of research!  I could easily spend the rest of the year (or the rest of my life?) investigating the collections and archives here at the Cultural Resource Center (CRC) and Museum Support Center (MSC).  I’ve also been really fascinated by the architecture of the museum (NMAI), and also of the CRC.  Above is the main entry rotunda at the CRC which is centered around four different quarters.  The center has a skylight above and also a small glass block section in the floor below which allows light to filter down into the library below. 


CRC Rotunda-Library light


It was interesting that the CRC, which is an extension of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, had been built (in the 1990s) with such attention to detail in comparison with the adjacent MSC, which supports the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Not that the MSC is poorly built, but it had a much more “storage-like” feeling to it.  Is it a sense of national guilt that allowed the CRC to have a more “sensitive” structure?  The whole building is pretty cool and the roof structure incorporates a spiral based upon the golden ratio.  Compare all of these with a view of the interior of the MSC below, and you’ll see what I mean.  Well-built, but in more of a no-nonsense 1980s style.




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