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National WWI Museum and Memorial

Kansas City, Missouri

National WWI Museum and Memorial 8

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s designated national institution for remembering, interpreting, and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.

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Located below grade on the expansive grounds of the original 1926 memorial, visitors cross a clear-glass bridge over a field of nine thousand poppies symbolizing the nine million soldiers from all countries who died in the conflict. America’s momentous decision to enter the fray is the subject of a panoramic multimedia production, which features a life-size tableau of “No Man’s Land” in the foreground. A full-scale trench and massive bomb crater immerse visitors in the story of the “war to end all wars.”

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National WWI Museum and Memorial 4

Utilizing the world’s largest collection of World War I objects, the museum chronicles this complex, global epic. The scope of the war, the tensions that ignited it, and its effect on millions of men and women are told through first-person accounts. Two 20-foot-long interactive media surfaces make the war and its aftermath—still being felt—understandable to the modern visitor.

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National WWI Museum and Memorial 7
National WWI Museum and Memorial 7

Response to the permanent exhibition has been overwhelming, and it received favorable reviews in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and other publications. Many noted World War I scholars, John Keegan and Martin Gilbert among them, have been effusive in their praise of the exhibition’s content, historiography, and presentation: “The museum is sensational, brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed . . . a very accurate and profound impression of what the First World War was like and what it was about . . . the display is extraordinarily impressive. I think it is a highly original museum.” — Sir John Keegan, 2006.

Size 30,000 square feet

Year 2006

Project Details

Audio/Visual Production Donna Lawrence Productions; Second Story Interactive Studios; John Butterfield Associates;

Audio/Visual EngineeringElectrosonic Systems; Potion, Inc.;

Acoustical DesignSH Acoustics

Lighting DesignTechnical Artistry

Exhibit FabricationExplus, Inc.; Taylor Studios; Sanders Museum Services; Meyvaert Museum Glass; Capital Electric; Folia Industries;

AwardsGraphis Design Annual: GoldIndustrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), International Design Excellence Award (IDEA): Gold, EnviromentsPRINT Regional Design Award: WinnerThe Society for Enviromental Graphic Design (SEGD) Global Design Award: Honor Award, Exhibition Design/Museum Environments

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