On the Boards

At MTFA, ideas abound in a wide variety of interesting projects at any given time. Work on programming, planning, design documents, construction documents and administration occurs simultaneously throughout the firm. A creative spirit filters through all aspects and phases of our projects. The following is a sampling of this exciting and diverse work in the office:

National Museum of the American People
This museum will tell the story of all of the people who became Americans from the prehistoric period through today and is expected to attract several million visitors each year. The museum will include more than 400,000 square feet of space devoted to exhibitions, collections, education resources, genealogical research, films and a major scholars' center.

Located at the Banneker Overlook site, the museum will serve to link the National Mall and the Southwest Waterfront - two central spaces in Washington, D.C. These spaces are along Maine Avenue, which is undergoing a major redevelopment that will include condos, shops, restaurants, a river walk and other amenities to attract visitors.

Developed by MTFA Architecture, the design envisions four soaring structures arising from the central grass-covered roof of the central building recalling flags of nations over a landscape of waves. During the day, the textures of the concrete "flags" will constantly change with the movement of the sun's shadows across the facade. At night, films can be projected onto these surfaces. The design calls for a state-of-the-art green building that will serve as a model for the Southwest ecodistrict. This will be America's only national institution devoted exclusively to telling the full story of the making of the American people.

Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church
The vision created in this master plan for a Catholic parish in Washington, D.C., involves modernization of facilities, creating optimal educational spaces, improving the form of the worship experience, creating recreational and green spaces, providing an adequately sized fellowship space and clearly defining and celebrating the identity of this church within its community.

The master plan efficiently reorganizes a tight site to respond to church and school facility needs. It provides greater community visibility for this church on the hill by improving the entrance to the overall site. The modernization of facilities also addresses all code and life-safety issues on the site.

Upgrades to the existing worship space will better serve Catholic traditions and also retain the desired intimacy within the church. Larger, state-of-the-art educational spaces emphasize the church's continued mission for academic excellence and also retain the school's desire for an intimate community. Also serving the school are adequate recreational and green spaces that promote safety and connectivity on the site. Larger and more flexible fellowship space for the church and school embrace the desire for interaction among all members of the congregation.

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church
This mixed-use project will be a cornerstone of the new Southwest waterfront development in Washington, D.C. The program includes worship, community services and residential services.

Design drivers for the project heighten the church's presence, sustainability and connections. The resulting master plan envisions a two-story, 20,000-square-foot, phased building. MTFA is working with the developer and city review officials through the planned-unit development (PUD) process.

The project embraces the developing community surrounding St. Augustine's Episcopal Church to partner with others to heighten the church's role, image and presence as a visible beacon of God's love. The sanctuary is elevated off of the ground floor and encompassed in glass so that it becomes the beacon within the community. It is projected beyond the facades of the main building so that it is visible from surrounding streets. The steel cross, which is rooted in the ground, pierces the second floor and reaches high above the building toward the sky, similar to a boat mast or a shepherd's staff.