East Wing, National Gallery
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Architect I. M. Pei
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Location Washington, D.C.,   map
Date 1974 to 1978   timeline
Building Type art museum, administrative offices
 Construction System post-tensioned concrete, stone cladding
Climate temperate
Context urban park setting
Style Modern
Notes Dramatic circulation space, triangular planning grid, semi-underground with pyramidal skylights. Calder mobile in atrium. (Firm name I. M. Pei and Partners).


Photo, main facade overview

Photo, angled view of front

Photo, interior view of atrium



Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

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Discussion East Wing, National Gallery Commentary

"The new East Wing extension to the National Gallery, Washington D.C., sits on a difficult triangular site. However, Pei was able to exploit this feature, giving his wedge-shaped building a marvelous sense of presence and sculptural purpose. A post-tensioned concrete structure, this extension to Washington's major art gallery follows the triangular shape of its Fourth Avenue site. It is situated on an 8.8 acre site with some 110,000 sq ft of main exhibition space and 16,000 sq ft of temporary exhibition areas. This building helped to shape attitudes to museum building throughout the United States in the 1970s and later."

— Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p379.


8.8 acre triangular site, 110,000 sq ft of main exhibition space plus 16,000 sq ft of temporary exhibition space.

American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award, 2004


Madison Drive and 4th Street, on the Mall. Telephone: 202-737-4215.

Sources on East Wing, National Gallery

"25-Year Award to Pei's East Wing", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 183, 2004.0225, pN1.1.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. grid geometry diagram, p195.   Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1841.025. PCD.2260.1012.1841.021

Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01328-0. LC 92-18415. NA2750.H48. model, p40. exterior photo from across plaza, p41.

Ernest and Kathleen Meredith. Slides from photographers' collection.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. interior photo, p140, 141. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography, reissued Fall 1999. Get it while you can. Available at Amazon.com

Marcus Whiffen and Frederick Koeper. American Architecture, Volume 2. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. exterior photo, f334, p419.   An excellent survey of American architecture. Reprint Edition available at Amazon.com

Carter Wiseman. I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. NA 737.P365 W57 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3709-3. LC 90-30727. site plan, p165. elevation, p162-3. ground floor plan, p166. main gallery (level 4) floor plan, p167.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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