Winners Announced for National Mall Design Competition

The area between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol has seen better days, but architects are vying to improve the nation’s front lawn

Architects from around the world submitted their portfolios, and by mid-December, a jury of experts invited ten design teams to re-imagine three "dead-zones" on the National Mall. (Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture + Tom Leader Studio for Sylvan Theater)

Andropogon + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Constitution Gardens
(Courtesy of Andropogon + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)
Despite its proximity to the national monuments, Constitution Gardens has been neglected. Its primary feature, a pond, is stagnant, and its sidewalks are crumbling. But the design team of Andropogon + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s proposal promises to bring new life to the site. The designers suggest that a marketplace be constructed on the park’s north side, along Constitution Avenue. “It would really become a magnet for people in a way that nothing on the mall right now is,” says Kirk Savage, author of Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. “It would be a really fun place to be.” Meanwhile, natural elements, such as wetland and a magnolia bog, would be incorporated to balance out the new infrastructure. This way, over time, species of birds, insects and mammals could return too.

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