Fort Smith, Arkansas
Situated on an Arkansas River overlook, the new U.S. Marshals Museum affords a long vista toward Oklahoma, once the limit of a young United States and the beginning of the Western Frontier. Presenting the story of an agency that has changed tremendously since its 1789 origins required a creative approach to framing the past, the present and the range of societal issues involving the Marshals.
CambridgeSeven provided concept design, with Polk Stanley Wilcox as the building architect, for an abstract star, interpreting the five-point star on the Marshals’ badge, with each point of the star housing or covering different museum functions. One arm reaches up and out towards the river to the frontier, creating an iconic element that can be seen from a distance. In addition to traditional galleries, the museum houses a Hall of Honor for fallen Marshals and an educational suite. The building features simple roof shapes oriented to the path of the sun, with wings built of simple bronze-colored metal, also reminiscent of a traditional badge.