August 14, 2008
Press Releases & News

Groundbreaking Signals Start of Work at United States Institute of Peace

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Clark Construction Group, LLC project team has begun work on the United States Institute of Peace headquarters and Public Education Center. To commemorate the occasion, the 24-year-old organization held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 5. More than 500 people attended the event, including President George W. Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a host of foreign dignitaries and representatives. Plans to build a permanent headquarters for the Institute date back to the organization's inception in 1984.

Considering the years spent securing the site, designing the structure, and obtaining the funding, Institute President Richard H. Solomon called June 5, "perhaps the most remarkable date in the Institute's history." During his remarks, President Bush credited the efforts of the Institute with helping to alleviate the country's conflicts with Soviet communism and praised the construction of its headquarters.

Designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates of Somerville, Mass., the building is located on one of the National Mall's last available sites, at the corner of 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, across from the Lincoln Memorial. The building's roofs form a series of wing-like elements. Constructed of steel frame and white translucent glass, they will be white on the exterior during the day and glow gently from light within at night. The exterior will feature a curving foundation and landscaped plaza.

The 154,000 square-foot headquarters will include a training center for professional conflict managers, office and conference space, and a 20,000 square-foot Public Education Center with state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits. The Institute expects more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Buro Happold, of New York, is the mechanical, structural, and electrical engineer; Wiles Mensch Corporation, of Reston, Va., is the civil engineer; and Schnabel Engineering, of Gaithersburg, Md., is the geotechnical engineer. Other project partners include Seele, LP, of New York, glass roof contractor; Clark Concrete, of Bethesda, Md., concrete contractor; John J. Kirlin, of Rockville, Md., mechanical and plumbing contractor; Mona Electric Group, of Clinton, Md., electrical contractor; and Stranix Associates, LLC, of Vienna, Va., owner representative.