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

Bumps in the lawn cover plazas and services underneath.
Bumps in the lawn cover plazas and services underneath.

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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