A closer look at some of the interactive displays on Floor 2: Explore More!
The illustration of the open-cockpit biplane on display in the History Galleries.
Case Study: Museum floor plans
Client: Smithsonian Institution
Merritt Cartographic produced these graphics for a Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture guidebook. The NMAAHC is a new museum, opened in 2016, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. These illustrations are included at the start of each section of the guidebook, accompanied by a series of photographs (not shown here), which help readers locate themselves in the museum and navigate across eight floors of public galleries.
These graphics have been created with reference to accurate architectural plans and are drawn to scale (but are shown at varying scales here for convenience). The galleries and floors in these diagrams have been coloured to match the relevant section of the guidebook they were produced for. It was decided that a few key 'landmark' objects and displays should be visualised with a detailed illustration. This provides readers and visitors to the museum with reference points as they travel around the building. Pictorial icons have also been included to identify public facilities and access points.
An extract from the Culture Galleries (Floor 4) plan, shown in greater detail.
Careful consideration has been given to the treatment of the escalators and stairs, particularly those heading upwards, so that, whilst remaining visible, they do not block out other important information. In many instances a transparency effect has been utilised on these features to help keep these diagrams readable. Similarly, whilst it was felt necessary to include the building's outer 'corona' walls on the floors above ground level (to provide context and to show the location of the various viewing lenses), transparency was used here too to avoid blocking out too much of the important floor plan detail.
These are vector based illustrations, providing greater scope for these plans to be resized and used for different purposes in the future.