Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian

  • GGHC Master Space Plan & Phase 1 Project Implementation
  • New York, NY
  • 2008 - 2011


GGHC is the original location of the National Museum of the American Indian, and is located in the landmark US Customs Building on Bowling Green in lower Manhattan.  While no new space was available, the 25th year was felt to be a good time to re-examine how space was used, and to improve the ability of the museum to serve new audiences.


Through workshops with leadership and staff, new goals were identified:  a large permanent exhibition, learning center, resource center, film center, improved retail and café experience along with improved way-finding and reorganized staff areas to improve operations.  Thorough a series of mappings, new strategies for locating the new program elements emerged – with an underlying approach to simplify visitor movement.


The plan found new opportunities for efficiency and in co-locating functions, freeing space for the film center, library, learning center and café.  The plan was developed as a series of independent interventions, enabling leadership to ‘package and sell’ individual projects to donors.   The first phases have proceeded and the museum has been able to expand offerings by making better use of space.

Led by Walt Crimm while Director of EwingCole Cultural Practice