Edward Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

Rafael Vinoly, 2015

Vinoly's understated approach echoes Pei's tribute to JFK next door with its simple, geometric massing and colors, but establishes an elegant presence all its own. There is an explicit and ultimately successful effort here to establish a relationship between the legacies of two brothers, one a President and the other a long-time Senator - the buildings talk to one another without competing.

The stark exterior and entry of this "public center for civic education" masks a surprise on the inside: full-scale replicas of both the U.S. Senate chamber and of Edward Kennedy's senate office. Coming upon these richly decorated, storied rooms after approaching through monochromatic spaces with walls decorated only with projected images heightens the visitor's awareness and attention.

Equipped with individual digital wireless tablets, visitors share a simulated experience of the day-to-day life of the Senate through a virtual role-playing game that helps communicate the complexities of passing a law in the U.S. Government.

Images: Kennedy Institute