Located in Philadelphia, United States, National Museum of American Jewish History was designed by Polshek Partnership Architects. Two independent and contrasting volumes define the building’s exterior. A translucent glass prism expresses the museum’s accessibility, the openness of America and the fragility of democracy while a second terra cotta volume, behind which is located the Museum’s collections and principal exhibition spaces, stands for the solidity of the liberties that protect all Americans.
Inside the glass enclosure, at the uppermost levels, a glowing beacon evokes the torch of the Statue of Liberty as it alludes to the five thousand year history of Judaism and the freedoms that have assured it continuity. The new six-storey building, which is expected to open in 2010, will house expanded exhibition spaces, an education center, a 200-seat theatre, and a gift shop.