Gallery: Diller Scofidio + Renfro Unveil Green Plans for the Future of ...

The landscape is kept mostly the same but adds functionality.
The landscape is kept mostly the same but adds functionality.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is vying to win the award for the refurbishment of both Union Square and the Washington Grounds at the Sylvan Theatre. Both designs are heavily focused on the landscape – they seek to bring back a bit of what Washington DC and the Tiber Creek were before the nation’s capital made its home here. The Capitol Building is constructed on what was once a marsh – in fact, a creek still runs underneath the mall and into the Tiber. Rather than fight against nature, DS+R wants to help reclaim it and thereby proposes a constructed wetlands at Union Square with a reflecting pond that can manage storm water runoff. Gardens are extended into the square to encourage biodiversity and improve environmental conditions.

Similarly, the Washing Grounds at Sylvan Theatre will undergo a transformation where parts of the lawn are “peeled up” to reveal plazas and programs underneath. These green-roofed structures maintain the expansive lawn, but add necessary amenities while ensuring that water runoff and rainwater is allowed to infiltrate. DS+R is a finalist in two categories for renovations to the National Mall and is competing against 3 other teams in each category. Proposals are now on display and open for public comment from April 9-15 at the Smithsonian Castle or online here.

+ Diller Scofidio + Renfro

+ Washington Mall Design Ideas

Images © DS+R


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  1. kookie May 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

    want the green project designing for the university’s dormitory

  2. hallamce April 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I really wish that when reporting a story such as this, that you give proper recognition to the entire team. Yes, Diller Scofidio + Renfro are the architects, however Walter Hood, of Hood Design is the landscape architect. I do believe he and his office are mostly responsible for the overall composition and design of this finalist submittal for The National Mall competition. Diller Scofidio + Renfro I suspect had influence and were part of the over all design, beyond the buildings, but I can almost guarantee they trusted the expertise and sensitivity of a landscape architect for such an important and historical landscape.
    Similarly Diller Scofidio + Renfro received most of the press and recognition for The High Line project in New York, in which James Corner of Field Operations was the lead, also a landscape architect.
    Just my thoughts…Thanks!

  3. marklynn April 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Ack! These images aren’t loading, and as a DC resident, I’m dying to see them.

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