National Museum of the American Indian

Washington, D.C.

Project Overview

Walls and Ceilings Contractor for the National Museum of the American Indian

This 260,000 SF, five-story structure reflects the relationship between humankind and the rest of nature, with references to the four cardinal directions and the four elements of the world – earth, air, water, and fire. The five-story curvilinear building is clad in Kasota limestone that evokes natural rock formations of the southwestern United States. The structure contains six footprints, undulating perimeter walls, real boulders, and constructed water features and a 45-meter entrance overhang reminiscent of age-old cliff dwellings. No two floors have the same geometric layout, and the design contains many compound curves and changing radii throughout the building. There are more than 500 work points, each of which represents the center of a circle and can generate multiple radii.

Cleveland Construction, Inc. provided and installed metal stud framing, drywall, specialty interior, and exterior soffits. The project was awarded a craftsmanship award by the Washington Building Congress for finishes/plaster.


  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Owner
    Smithsonian Institution
  • Architect
    SmithGroup, Inc.
  • Completion Date
    January 2009


Services Provided

  • Metal Stud Framing
  • Drywall
  • Specialty Ceilings

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