Awards of Excellence 2018
Clark Construction Group
Museum of the Bible

Museum of the Bible
Award of Excellence
Best Institutional Facility

Project Team

Museum of the Bible - (Owner / Manager)
Smithgroup - (Architect)
Clark Construction Company - (General Contractor)
Precise Development - (Project Management)

Executive Summary

Originally a historical warehouse in downtown Washington, DC, the Museum of the Bible defies expectations, incorporating striking architectural forms and cutting-edge technologies. The $254 million, 430,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility was delivered in record time. While most museums take 10-12 years through design and completion, the Museum of the Bible took just 5 years from concept to grand opening. The project reached substantial completion just one year after topping out.

The Museum of the Bible exists today in what was once the Terminal Refrigerating and Warehouse Company Building – a former warehouse, ice manufacturing plant, and office building built in Southwest Washington, DC in 1923. Over the course of the project, the team adapted 140,000 square feet of the warehouse, performed 240,000 square feet of infill construction, and renovated an additional 50,000 square feet.

In addition to five floors of exhibit space, the museum features research laboratories and libraries, a lecture hall, a performing arts venue, and a 500-seat ballroom, as well as scholar residences, classrooms, offices, and a roof-top garden and restaurant.

The structure is punctuated by one-of-a-kind features, including 37-foot-tall bronze entry gates featuring inscriptions from the Gutenberg Bible, a 140-foot-long LED arcade ceiling, a 117-foot-tall, suspended monumental atrium stair with etched glass railings, a 472-seat immersive performance venue with state-of-the art audio and projection mapping capabilities, and a 250-foot-long barreled curtain wall rooftop galley with views of the DC skyline. The museum is among the most technologically-advanced museums in the world, creating an immersive experience for visitors as they explore the history and impact of the Bible.

The project schedule remained unchanged throughout the project. Each stakeholder firm designated a point person for the exhibit set up to community, discuss issues, and solve problems quickly and efficiently. To facilitate decisions regarding the interior design, close to 20 different mockups were created for spaces including the atrium stairs, the decorative glass guardrail, various portions of the performance hall, and more. While no formal partnering agreement was in place, the Museum is often referred to as “an IPD project without an IPD contract.”

The team’s alignment around project goals, and commitment to maintaining open lines of communication and working in the best interest of the project was led from the top down and yielded a positive, solutions-oriented environment. When the Museum of the Bible opened on November 17, 2017, its strategic location at the cultural axis along 4th Street connected the National Mall and major cultural landmarks to Southwest Washington, further invigorating the urban revival of a fascinating, historic, and rapidly transforming part of the city.

Museum of the Bible


Signature Sponsor:
Clark Construction Company

Platinum Sponsors:
Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   The Tower Companies  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   Whiting-Turner

Gold Sponsors:
Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   MetLife  |   National Building Museum  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company