Buildings We Like: Foster

Ten minutes away from the convention center in Washington DC is the former U.S. Patent Office that now houses the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Patent Office

The original building was designed by Robert Mills, the first american architect born and trained in this country. The interiors have been sensitively renovated for the display of art and artifacts:

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But the real stunner is the courtyard. Here Foster and gang enclosed court with a freestanding, undulating, structure that is barely visible from the outside, and thrilling on the inside:

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Preservation and modernism can lead to great spaces.