Constitution Gardens on the capital’s National Mall will be redesigned for the first time in forty years by the two winning firms of 2012’s National Mall Design Competition.The Constitution Gardens portion of the competition focuses on the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, which includes a six-acre lake. The winning design, which was selected by the project’s client, Trust for the National Mall, received unanimous approval earlier this month from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and The National Capital Planning Commission.
The 50-acre plan, co-designed by New York-based Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers (previously Rogers Marvel Architects) and California-based PWP Landscape Architecture, will rest a160-foot-long glass-walled pavilion wrapped in an open, triangulated structure beside the lake, 20 feet above water level.
An 18-inch retaining wall along Constitution Avenue will be constructed to create a subtle divide between city and the gardens, which were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with landscape architect Dan Kiley to celebrate the Bicentennial. The historic 1832 Lockkeeper’s House will be relocated and renovated as well.
The new plan for the park aims to attract visitors looking for a leisurely escape from the city with ice-skating, boating, and a proposed restaurant overlooking the water and gardens. The rolling topography of the lawn allows the city to collect and filter stormwater while mitigating street traffic noise. The redesign is planned for completion in 2016.
Watch representatives from the Trust for the National Mall reflect on restoring Constitution Gardens.