Next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, the late Senator Edward Kennedy will soon be memorialized with a new building, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. In a few months, construction teams will break ground on the 40,000 square foot educational center, which will include a complete replica of Kennedy’s old stomping ground, the U.S. Senate.
Sited on the University of Massachusetts campus, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will serve as a public resource and a venue for programming related to the structure of the US government and the history of democracy, with special attention to youth and students.
Viñoly’s plan features a ground floor designed in white precast concrete, a gesture of harmony with the adjacent I.M. Pei building. In addition to regular programming space, Viñoly will include a replica of the Senate within the institute, where students from around the country will participate in mock government sessions during the summer. The two-story Senate Chamber will be separated from the concrete wing with a giant skylight that spans much of the building. A public open space at the front entrance will connect the two Kennedy buildings, with the intention of combining both experiences in one visit.