This museum has a “Porch”, the large covered area visitors pass through to reach the museum’s south-facing entrance. In many cultures, porches are spaces for relaxation and socializing. The architects designed one for this museum to reference the historical and cultural uses of porches throughout the African Diaspora. These uses include receiving visitors, telling stories, and sharing lessons. The museum’s Porch also offers visitors a welcome moment of shade after traversing the promenade of the National Mall. Below the Porch is a water feature called the Reflecting Pool. These features work together to create a calming and cooling atmosphere for visitors at the south-side entrance.