The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, with its elegant glass canopy, was designed by the world-renowned architectural firm Foster + Partners. It is a signature element of the renovated National Historic Landmark building that houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The enclosed courtyard provides a distinctive, contemporary accent to the museums' Greek Revival building.
"The design was driven by a deep respect for the existing building," said Foster. "It was decided that it should not touch the building at any point-floating above it instead, like a cloud over a courtyard."
The roof, a steel structure with a glass and aluminum exterior, has a surface area of approximately 37,500 square feet. There are 864 panes of glass and no two are alike. Eight steel columns support the canopy, which weighs around 900 tons.