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Trust for the National Mall

Project Type:

Design Competition

Construction Budget:

$65,000,000 estimated


March 2012

An expression of the US Constitution: We and NBW Landscape Architects were invited as one of twelve teams from over 1,200 registered firms to submit a design for a revitalized National Mall. Our specific site, Constitution Gardens, had been designed in 1976 to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial, but was never finished. Our design re-calibrates the master plan, responding to changes made since its design and to new needs of increased park usage.

Radical Contextualism: We re-interpreted the existing lake, a singular, isolated, passive body of stagnated water, into an open, diverse bio-habitat rich in vitality that is connected and fully accessible to the public in a form of “radical contextualism” differentiated from the classical singularity of the Mall.

A Cohesive Experience: Integrating architecture and landscape, the design clarifies the relative prominence of park buildings providing visitor services adjacent to national memorials and monuments. A new café is deferentially inserted into a redesigned topography, the central lake is restored with sustainable stormwater and biological treatment, and the singular park experience is enriched with gardens of varied character throughout the site.