Smithsonian Institution | Washington, D.C.

  • Smithsonian Castle
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  • 77_SIHall_v2_MP01
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The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, including 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo and 9 research centers. For nearly 170 years, The Castle served as a place of orientation for the complex, yet it lacked the draw to compel Smithsonian enthusiasts to start their day there. Without a center of orientation, VITAL found that many of the nearly 2 million annual visitors found it challenging to filter through the Smithsonian’s many points of interest, and their trips were often confusing or exhausting. In 2013, VITAL took on the redesign of the Castle’s Great Hall to turn it into a visitor-focused experience for the millions of museum-goers. VITAL worked closely with museum stakeholders to simplify, organize, and unify the space, leveraging modern tools within the parameters of this National Historic Landmark. The Castle’s new Great Hall features digitally interactive planning maps and an immersive video experience. Its new movable furniture ensures its agility for various events and future unknown needs. The Castle empowers visitors with the ability to engage with the entire Smithsonian system before embarking on a personalized journey through their areas of interest.

“The Smithsonian Castle is where knowledge is king. Knowledge is power. The Smithsonian Castle is where the visitor is king.”
–Yelp, 2015