The charge was to design a museum that would display the proud history of Norwich University, the first private military university in America. While the museum was to be an addition to the University's existing library, it was expected to establish its own identity on campus. It was essential to the University that the museum's exhibits reach each of its students and professors. It was equally important that the museum, which would showcase the significant contributions of the "citizen soldier," become a regional destination.

The museum is sited as an addition to the library where it captures the continuous student traffic between the library and the residence halls on the Upper Parade Ground. The museum's distinctive entry pavilion is a campus beacon. Lit at night, this beacon is visible across campus. A vehicular drop-off at the rotunda welcomes guests from outside the campus.

The museum was designed to convey the University's core values of confidence, pride, ingenuity, and character. But above all else, the museum is meant to become a beloved and integral part of each student's daily life.

The museum's sustainable design incorporates recycled copper panels, local granite, the re-use of existing stone ventilation towers, low wattage display lighting, natural light in the entry pavilion, fly-ash concrete, rain water management, structural insulated panels (SIPS), energy efficient mechanical systems, and indigenous plant material.

Photography © David Sundberg/Esto