The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open in September. (Photo by Michael Barnes, Smithsonian.)

Farewell to the year of the National Building Museum's ball pit, the National Museum of American History's fancy new wing and the Renwick Gallery's highly anticipated comeback. 2016 promises a flurry of activity when it comes to museum happenings, with even a reincarnation of "The Beach's" plastic balls in the works. Here are some of the most exciting museum openings projected for next year.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Projected opening date: September 2016

It's been more than a decade since Congress created the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Located on a five-acre swath of land on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th streets NW, the museum opens in September with 11 exhibitions on subjects ranging from history to the visual arts. Until then, you can catch a preview of the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History's "Through the African American Lens."


A rendering of one of the National Gallery of Art's new Tower Galleries, featuring works by Mark Rothko. (Image by Hartman-Cox Architects.)

National Gallery of Art's East Building

Projected opening date: Sept. 30

Great news for fans of modern and contemporary art: After nearly three years of renovation, the National Gallery of Art fully reopens its East Building with a few additions -- more than 12,000 square feet of new gallery space connected by a rooftop sculpture garden that overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue. Housed inside two sky-lit, hexagonal-shaped Tower Galleries, the new space will focus on works by Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Modern and contemporary art from the permanent collection will hang from the ground floor to the upper level, while temporary exhibitions will occupy the concourse and the southwest tower.

National Building Museum's summer installation

Projected opening date: Summer

For its next summer installation, the National Building Museum has enlisted an urban design and landscape architecture firm that might just surpass Snarkitecture, which created "The Beach."  James Corner Field Operations, the same folks behind New York's High Line, is tasked with creating the museum's next interactive installation. Details remain slim, but the firm has promised something both unexpected and unique.


Dupont Underground plans to revitalize an old Dupont Circle trolley station and transform it into a cultural destination. (Rendering by Dupont Underground / Hunt Laudi Studio.)

Dupont Underground

Projected opening date: Summer, at the earliest

Those who missed "The Beach" might want to pay close attention to Dupont Underground, the yet-to-open arts destination in Dupont Circle's old trolley station, which has an entrance across from the Dupont Circle Hotel on New Hampshire Avenue NW. The organization took possession of more than 650,000 of the National Building Museum's plastic balls in September and has plans to reuse them in 2016 in a site-specific installation. If all goes as planned, the space's east platform could open in the summer. Asked when additional details will be released, managing director Braulio Agnese responded in an email, "Very soon."