Our mission is to advance the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives.
The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution devoted to interpreting the history and impact of the built environment. We do this by telling the stories of architecture, engineering, and design. As one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C., we welcome visitors from around the world to our exhibitions, public programs, and festivals. Located just four blocks from the National Mall, the Museum occupies a magnificent building with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze.
Our acclaimed lecture series, Spotlight on Design and Women of Architecture, welcome the best architects, designers, engineers, and urban planners from around the world to discuss their work. Speakers have included thinkers like I.M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas, and Jan Gehl and have attracted audiences ranging from professionals, policymakers, and students to the general public.
The Building in the 21st Century series addresses sustainable design and energy-efficient building and construction. For the Greener Good calls on experts to investigate links between environmental sustainability and design, infrastructure, and even popular culture. Smart Growth promotes dialogue and research on sustainable development strategies that preserve community character and protect the environment.