Smithsonian Institution Master Plan Building, Washington DC Architecture Images, South Mall Campus Architect

Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Masterplan

Enid A. Haupt Garden – Washington DC Arts Development, United States of America design by BIG

Jan 22, 2018

Location: Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Design: BIG architects

As the Smithsonian Institute’s massive $2 billion redevelopment plans struggle to gain both public and governmental support, architects BIG release a revised proposal.

Smithsonian Institution Haupt Garden current:
Smithsonian Institution Haupt Garden current
images courtesy of Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Master Plan

Controversy surrounding the original master plan has been centered largely around the changes that would be made to the Enid A. Haupt Garden, and the seemingly, unnecessarily high costs for the overall overhaul.

Smithsonian Institution Haupt Garden proposed:
Smithsonian Institution Haupt Garden proposed

The previous proposal by BIG showed a radical design for this public space in front – and axis with – the main building. The revised design image, sadly taken at a different (lower) angle doesn’t allow an easy comparison but it looks like almost nothing is now changing in this space.

Smithsonian Institution Masterplan design

Bjarke Ingels said, on Jan 18th 2018, “Since our last proposal, we’ve been listening very closely to the public. We wanted the general feeling and fondness for the Haupt Garden to remain the same while also increasing its enjoyment and use, offering educational elements and after hour programs” when presenting the revised designs to members of the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).

Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Masterplan Update

Smithsonian’s Preferred Alternative F

Project Background

The Smithsonian Institution proposed Master Plan for the South Mall campus— the museums and gardens along Independence Avenue S.W., from Seventh to 12th streets. Designed by BIG, the Bjarke Ingels Group, the comprehensive plan includes the revitalization of the Castle, with expanded visitor services; new Mall-facing entrances to the National Museum of African Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; and improved visibility and access from the Freer Gallery of Art to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Renwick Gates + Street Edge Trees in Smithsonian’s Preferred Alternative F:
Smithsonian Institution Renwick Gates

The proposed Master Plan will be implemented over a 10-to-20—year period beginning in 2016.

The proposal has three primary goals: To improve and expand visitor services and education, to create clear entrances and connections between the museums and gardens, and to replace aging building mechanical systems that have reached the end of their lifespan.

Smithsonian Institution Proposed Castle Basement design:
Smithsonian Institution Proposed Castle Basement design
image by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group + Brick

The centerpiece of the proposed South Mall Master Plan is the revitalization of the iconic Smithsonian Castle. Opened in 1855, the Castle now serves as a visitor information center and the headquarters of the Institution.

The plan calls for a restoration of the historic Great Hall, which has been altered by partitions that cut its floor space almost in half, and the addition of a two-level underground space for visitor services, a café and shop, with direct access to the Enid A. Haupt Garden and the underground Ripley Center.

Proposed Castle Basement in Smithsonian’s Preferred Alternative F:
Smithsonian Institution Proposed Castle Basement

The renovation of the Castle will transform the visitors’ experience, offering much-needed expanded amenities, including retail, cafes and public gathering spaces.

Among the major proposed projects in the Master Plan are:

• Revitalization of the Castle, including replacement of its building systems and restoration and preservation of the Smithsonian’s oldest historic structure; seismic reinforcement is needed to bring the building to current codes and avoid damage in the future

• The Hirshhorn Museum will expand underground to provide additional gallery and public programs space

• Replacement of the original roof of the quadrangle building under the Haupt Garden, which is nearing the end of its useful life; this roof is above the Ripley Center, Sackler Gallery and National Museum of African Art, and new light wells will allow daylight to light the underground complex for the first time

• Interior renovations and underground construction to support the Arts and Industries Building, once decisions are made regarding its long-term use

• Mechanical systems of buildings built in the 1970s and 1980s, including the Hirshhorn Museum (1974) and the quadrangle (1987), are reaching the end of their useful life and require replacement

• Above-ground and underground connections will be made between the buildings and the gardens running east-west along Independence Avenue

Smithsonian Institution Washington DC

The proposed Master Plan requires review from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The Smithsonian and NCPC will work together to fulfill the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Smithsonian Institution building Washington DC

Read about the plans in full: Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Master Plan Proposal

Smithsonian Institution Proposed landscape design:
Smithsonian Institution Proposed landscape design
image by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group + Brick

Previously on e-architect:

Apr 12, 2016

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan Controversy

Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Design: BIG architects

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan Petition

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan design

Nearly 1,400 people signed a petition in opposition to Bjarke Ingels Group’s proposal to demolish a portion of the Smithsonian Institution campus in Washington, DC.

A concerned citizen started an online petition on 5 April 2016 in an effort to halt or at least modify the plans regarding the Smithsonian’s Enid A Haupt Garden, which would be razed to make way for a new plaza.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Mar 13, 2013

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

South Mall Campus Master Plan Design Team Selection


BIG leading a Core Design Team including Surface Design, Traceries and Robert Silman Associates, further supported by Atelier Ten, GHT Limited, Wiles Mensch, Weidlinger Associates, VJ Associates, Protection Engineering Group and FDS Design Studio is today officially announced as the winning team to rethink the historic Smithsonian campus, world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan
pictures from architect

Smithsonian Institution Masterplan – Building Information

Size: 700,000 Square Feet
Client: Smithsonian Institution
Collaborators: Surface Design (landscape), Traceries (historic preservation), Robert Silman Associates (structural), Atelier Ten (sustainability), GHT Limited (MEP), Wiles Mensch (civil), Weidlinger Associates (security/anti-terrorism)
VJ Associates (cost), Protection Engineering Group (fire/life safety), FDS Design Studio (food services)
Location: Washington D.C., USA
Status: Concept

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Daniel Kidd
Project Manager: Ziad Shebab
Team: Suemin Jeon

Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Master Plan images / information from BIG

BIG Architects, Denmark / USA

Location: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA

Smithsonian Institution – Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Design: Foster & Partners ; Co-architects: Smith Group Inc.
Smithsonian Institute

Smithsonian Institution Courtyard design : Foster + Partners

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Comments / photos for the Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Master Plan Washington, D.C. page welcome

Website: Smithsonian Institution