Rafael Viñoly Architects was recently selected as the designer of the United States Senate’s Edward M. Kennedy Institute. The new institute will be located adjacent to the existing John F. Kennedy Library and will be designed as a compliment to the famed library. The expansive block building is set to host a series of educational programs focused on bringing public awareness to the history and activities of the United States Senate. Still in their early planning stages, the world-renowned architecture firm recently released preliminary details of the construction, which underscored a design set on achieving LEED certification.
The 40,000 square foot Institute will take the form of a stacked box volume with two stories. The first floor will be constructed of white precast concrete with punched window openings, while the second story will reflect a similar but smaller square volume. The plan for a ribbon skylight has been applied to both visually separate the two volumes and extend to the lobby to provide natural light throughout the visitor entryway. The design program will be comprised mainly of classrooms and educational exhibits, in addition to a mock-up of the Senate Chamber. The overall aesthetic of the building and site have been designed to compliment the neighboring JFK Library.
Rafael Viñoly Architects, who have progressively been making a mark in sustainable design, have consciously implemented green design strategies in the plan of the new government institute. Exact details of what is to be employed is still yet to be known, but the team has made it clear they will be designing the institute to meet LEED standards. Construction is expected to begin this fall on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.