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Finalists for National Mall Design Competition Announced

November 1, 2011

A long list of illustrious firms are vying for the chance to refurbish and reimagine three Washington, D.C., landmarks.

By Bruce Buckley

Finalists for National Mall Design Competition Announced
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
The Trust for the National Mall wants to revamp Union Square, the grounds around the Washington Monument, and Constitution Gardens.

 

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The Trust for the National Mall has announced the finalists in a design competition that aims to restore and improve three prominent sites on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Snøhetta, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Michael Maltzan Architecture, and Ten Arquitectos are among the bevy of notable firms whose proposals have advanced to the next stage of the multi-tiered competition.

The three sites span the length of the Mall: at the east end, Union Square, located at the foot of the U.S. Capitol building and featuring a 1920 statue memorializing President Ulysses S. Grant; near the center, the Washington Monument grounds, notably the area to the south containing the Sylvan Theater (1917); and at the west end, Constitution Gardens, a 50-acre park built in 1976 between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Six teams, each comprising two firms, will compete for each of the three projects.

The finalists, announced on October 26, were selected based on portfolio submissions. The eight-person jury met over three days to sift through more than 1,200 entries received between September 8 and October 8. Jurors evaluated firms’ past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity, and their overall resumes, according to Donald Stastny, manager of the National Mall Design Competition.

The next stage, starting November 1, involves qualification assessments and interviews, with results scheduled for December 15. For the final stage, beginning January 11, the jury will evaluate design concepts. The schemes will be featured in a public exhibition opening April 9, and the Trust will announce the winning teams on May 3.

The projects aim to overcome years of neglect and deterioration on the Mall, which draws approximately 25 million visitors annually, according the National Park Service (NPS). Repairs could cost $700 million, including $400 million for deferred maintenance and an additional $300 million in needed improvements, according to NPS. The Campaign to Restore the National Mall, the largest public-private partnership in the history of the NPS, aims to raise $350 million in private money over seven years. Those funds would be matched dollar-for-dollar by federal funds.

Competition jurors include Thom Mayne, founder and principal of Morphosis; Craig Hodgetts, creative director at Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture; Alpha Blackburn, president & CEO of Blackburn Architects; Michael Gericke, partner at Pentagram NYC; Ethan Carr, landscape architecture professor at UMASS Amherst; Elizabeth Meyer, landscape architecture professor at University of Virginia; Benjamin Forgey, writer and former architecture critic at The Washington Post; and Harry Robinson, principal at TRG Consulting Global.

FINALISTS: NATIONAL MALL DESIGN COMPETITION

Union Square

Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Hood Design
Elizabeth Diller, lead Lead Designer
Walter Hood, lead landscape architect

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol; AEDAS
Kathryn Gustafson, lead landscape architect
Carl F. Krebs, lead architect

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects; Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect
Henry N. Cobb, lead architect
Ken Smith, lead landscape architect

Reed Hilderbrand; Chan Krieger NBBJ
Alex Krieger, lead architect
Gary R. Hilderbrand, lead landscape architect

Rogers Marvel Architects; Peter Walker and Partners
Robert M. Rogers, lead architect
Jonathan M. Marvel, lead architect
Peter Walker, lead landscape architect

Snohetta; AECOM
Craig Dykers, lead architect
Roger Courtenay, lead landscape architect


Washington Monument Grounds

Balmori Associates; Work Architect Company
Amale Andraos, lead architect
Dan Wood, lead architect
Diana Balmori, lead landscape architect

Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Elizabeth Diller, lead Lead Designer
Walter Hood, lead landscape architect

Handel Architects; W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Michael Arad, lead architect
Barbara Wilks, lead landscape architect

Michael Maltzan Architecture; Tom Leader Studio
Michael T. Maltzan, lead architect
Tom Leader, lead landscape architect

OLIN; Weiss/Manfredi
Skip Graffam, lead architect
Marion Weiss, lead landscape architect

Ten Arquitectos; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects
Enrique Norten, lead architect
Andrea Cochran, lead landscape architect


Constitution Gardens

Adropogon; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Jose M. Alminana, lead landscape architect
Frank W. Grauman, lead architect

Lee and Associates; Arthur Cotton Moore/Associates
Jeff S. Lee, lead architect
Arthur Cotton Moore, lead landscape architect

McKissack & McKissack; Oehme Van Sweden
Ronald A. Kessler, lead architect
Sheila A. Brady, lead landscape architect

Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect; Paul Murdoch Architects
Warren T. Bryd Jr., lead landscape architect
Paul Murdoch, AIA, LEED AP | Lead Architect

OLIN; Weiss/Manfredi
Skip Graffam, lead architect
Marion Weiss, lead landscape architect

Rogers Marvel Architects; Peter Walker and Partners
Robert M. Rogers, lead architect
Jonathan M. Marvel, lead architect
Peter Walker, lead landscape architect

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