In response to the renaissance of downtown Norfolk, Va., and the introduction of light rail, the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation hired Hanbury to design a new visitors center serving the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial complex. The complex is located directly across from a new light rail station, and positioned at the confluence of pedestrian traffic between Main Street, the MacArthur Mall, the Cruise Terminal, and the new Norfolk Public Library.
The new facility replaces and consolidates the Memorial’s existing theater, exhibit galleries, and gift shop, providing a clear entry and orientation space for the complex. The central "Great Hall" creates a new, more visible front door, inviting tourists, light rail riders, and residents to MacArthur Square and the array of facilities on site. Large scale graphic "story boards" use the entry facade to capture pedestrian attention, illustrating key moments in the MacArthur story.
A key project goal was to create a more dynamic and extroverted face for the Museum while respecting the iconic nature of the main Memorial building and Education Center. The new facility does not mimic the existing architecture, but references it with its material palette, massing, and fenestration treatments. The result is a contemporary design that complements and strengthens the overall aesthetic character of the historic MacArthur Square complex.