Magazine article The Futurist

The New "Peace Building"

Magazine article The Futurist

The New "Peace Building"

Article excerpt

If the Washington, D.C., skyline seems a little more peaceful these days, there is a reason.

In March 2011, the United States Institute of Peace began moving into a new, $186-million headquarters located on the National Mall. The five-story building faces the Lincoln Memorial and is located near both the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials. Constructed on top of an old parking lot, it incorporates sustainable building methods and is conceptual in design: The translucent white glass rooftop is intended to evoke the undulating white wing of a dove of peace.

Visiting members of the public will be able to view office work taking place through floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open onto the Great Hall inside.

"The design of the new building embodies the open, transparent, and inclusionary nature of peacebuilding," says USIP President Richard H. Solomon.

Boasting a state-of-the-art workspace, the building will also be home to the Global Peacebuilding Center, an interactive public education center geared especially toward students and young people. A rotating series of exhibitions will raise awareness of international issues and introduce viewers to various methods of preventing, analyzing, managing, and resolving conflicts. Exhibits and activities will include "an immersion theater [that] will put visitors 'on the ground,' transporting them from the Global Peacebuilding Center to, for example, the Cambodian killing fields," according to the USIP's Web site.

The building was designed by Moshe Safdie, a Boston-based Israeli architect whose many groundbreaking designs include the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex in Punjab, India (a museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Sikh people). …

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