National Park Service | Littel Rock, Arkansas
The National Park Service commissioned a new 10,000 SF Visitor Center at Central High School National Historic Site to interpret the events of 1957, analyze their lasting impact on racial relations, and recognize their place in the nation’s history. The opening of the new Visitor Center was planned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. Army troops escorted nine black students into the previously all-white Central High School. The design concept is “engaging bodies with skin pulled back to reveal what’s inside.” The façade of the museum building is “pulled away” from the building in key locations to emphasize functional importance of the various spaces within. Central High School becomes “framed” in a view from the southern end of the exhibits—where the skin is most evidently pulled back.