National Constitution Center


Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Practice Area


National Constitution Center

Project Vision

The purpose of this program is to explore the U.S. Constitution’s history and relevance to people’s daily lives today and to honor and explain the Constitution with the basic premise that all power derives from the people.

The broad strokes of the exhibit are its skeleton, expected to be permanent. However, almost every component has been developed to allow for change to address interpretive and visitor needs. The large story panels are movable and individually replaceable. All interactive and audio-visual elements are essentially media delivery systems; change is simply a matter of software. Most artifacts are loaned from collecting institutions and will rotate.

Project Details
This exhibit literally brings the Constitution to life. The visitor becomes involved in a variety of ways: live narration and multimedia presentations in an intimate and dramatic theater in the round; the visually iconic American Family Tree representing citizenship; a chronological exhibit reporting the human stories of the Constitution as present news; interactive stations to comment with post-it notes on the Constitution's major themes; and a Signer's Hall where visitors can walk among life-size bronze figures of all the signers and dissenters.
Juror 1
Design Team

Ralph Appelbaum (Principal in Charge), Christopher Miceli, Mary Shapiro, Joakim Hannerz, Dana Cupkova Myers, Jose Alcala, Peony Quan, Mariano Desmaras, Elizabeth Ellis, David Mandel, Deborah Wolff, Sylvia Juran

Design Firm

Ralph Appelbaum Associates


Donna Lawrence Productions (producer, “Freedom Rising”); A More Perfect Union (interactive media producer); Studio EIS (bronzeworks/cast figures); Fisher Marantz Stone (lighting designer); Technical Artistry (lighting designer); Jaffe Holden Acoustics (acoustics designer); Electrosonic Systems, Inc. (AV systems); Leslie Robertson Associates (structural engineer); Brinjac Engineering (MEP); Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. (fire safety)


Maltbie Associates