The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will open to the public Saturday, September 24. The museum’s 12 inaugural exhibitions, grouped around main themes of history, community, and culture, will display more than 3,000 artifacts.

A coalition of firms—the Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates, Davis Brody Bond, and the SmithGroupJJR—worked together on the $540-million museum, which broke ground in February 2012. Situated on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington monument, the 400,000-square-foot museum includes exhibition galleries, an education center, theater, auditorium, café, store, and offices. Lead designer David Adjaye developed the building’s signature “corona”— the three-tiered façade clad with 3,600 bronze-colored cast-aluminum panels.


Time-lapse Video Courtesy EarthCam