A new museum is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. And yesterday, I took a trip downtown to view the proposed designs for it. The Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture will be located at the corner of 15th and Constitution Sts NW. It will be one of the first landmarks visible to visitors entering DC by way of 14th Street. The Smithsonian tasked six architect and design teams to create the initial vision of what the museum will look like. These are not the final designs. Once a firm is chosen, the designs will be modified and will have to pass through a series of reviews by several entities which oversee these sorts of additions to the DC architectural cannon.
Here are some photos of each of the six models. The Washington Post has additional renderings and the full story. I can find good things to say about each of the designs, but my initial favorite is the Devrouax & Purnell + Pei Cobb Freed & Partners design. The models are on display with additional information about each presentation. See them at the Smithsonian Castle.