By Tyler Falk
Posting in Architecture
The National Mall is in desperate need of a makeover. Here's a look at the 12 finalists who hope to revitalize America's Front Lawn.
The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is in desperate need of a makeover. "America's Front Yard" hasn't seen a major renovation since 1976, even though about 30 million people visit the site each year. Fortunately, help is on the way.
This week, the Trust for the National Mall, the non-profit restoration partner of the National Parks Service, announced the short-list of redesign proposals for three sections of the National Mall. The list was trimmed to 12 for the different sections, with four finalists for each section. The Associated Press reports:
Since last September, architects and designers have been competing for the chance to make over areas near the Capitol, Washington Monument and Constitution Gardens, which was once imagined as a pastoral park near the Lincoln Memorial. It has since been left as a fetid pool with crumbling edges, surrounded by broken sidewalks. Each of the designs would bring major changes, adding amenities including food options and restrooms.
"The face of the mall is going to change quite dramatically," said Donald Stastny, an architect hired to oversee the competition. "If you're in Constitution Gardens, it's going to be cool, as opposed to 'How did I end up in this place?'"
Below we'll catch a glimpse at each finalist's idea of what the reimagined National Mall could look like.
First, we'll take a look at the finalists for the Constitution Gardens redesign.
Next, we'll look at the redesign candidates for the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater.
Finally, we'll take a peek at the proposed ideas for Union Square.
Any of these designs would go a long way toward upgrading the look and feel of one of the most important public spaces in the United States. But which ones are your favorites? Go here to see each design in greater detail.
Finalists emerge to redesign National Mall sites [Associated Press]
Images: Courtesy of The Trust for the National Mall
Apr 10, 2012
While all the designs are very nice, now is not the time to have a design off for a new National Mall. There are higher priorities in this country now such as, Unemployment, Affordable Health Care, Social Security, National Debt, and the general lack a our leadership in all parts of our government. While one could argue that this will create jobs, it will not create lasting jobs. What we need is an energy policy to get this country reved up. That policy is very simiply put as follows: ( 1 ) End all dependence on foreign oil in 5 years, and ( 2 ) Reduce the carbon foot print by 50% in the next 10 years. President Kenndy did not know for sure if we could put a man on the moon in 10 years, but that did not stop him. We must also stop trying to be the army for the entire world. Then we will be able to balance the budget and take care of all US citizens!
Keep it green but some additional water features and landscaping and such are fine. But there should be a whole new underground mall added with places to eat and such. There's not much convenient to the mall as it stands so this would be great. It would also generate revenue to help fund the improvements.
These are all lovely except a BIG NO to any Vegas-style, wasteful water works. And, I agree that green tech needs to be integral. Lots of places for solar panels, solar paint, reflective windows and more.
4. Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners considered park usage at night. .. kudos for that. However there are MUCH better lighting choices available now. Human achievement gives citizens the artificial lighting they need without stealing the stars out of the sky. Light the monument from the top-down. Get rid of the Globe lights that add glare and throw light in every direction. Choose beautiful & effective lighting that directs light only downward where it is needed.
I went through every single submission on the Mall's competition site (downloading their PDF submissions), and I have to say that these images shown here do not do justice to the thought and layout of designs, particularly for presentation. But of all the different designs for the three different sites, there was one particular design that truly was amazing: [b]Diller Scofido + Hood[/b] proposal for the Sylvan Theater / Washington Monument site. Just amazing...they created undulating waves of the landscape, and - seemingly - subverted the architecture below. But when you go below, the architecture is absolutely fabulous. The waves are subtly redirecting your views to specific interests, while also keeping a broader reverence to the Washington Monument at the macro scale. I hope they end up selecting and building this design!
I like the designs. However, I wish there were more of an initiative for green-technology use. This may show the governments dedication to going green, so-to-speak. Also, I wish the article had current pictures of the locations for easier comparisons.