Smithsonian Institution Building, Washington DC Architecture Master Plan, Architect, Photos

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Washington DC Arts Development, United States of America: Petition News – design by BIG

Jan 22, 2018
Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Masterplan Update
Design: BIG architects

Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Masterplan

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 have signed a petition in opposition to Bjarke Ingels Group’s proposal to demolish a portion of the Smithsonian Institution campus in Washington, DC, reports Dezeen.

Smithsonian Institution Masterplan design

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 Washington DC

The petition garnered 500 signatures within two days, according to Curbed. As of today, it has around 1,500 signatories.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

In March a former curator for the Smithsonian Institution, James M Goode, also criticised BIG’s plan in an editorial for The Washington Post.
He described the garden as “one of Washington’s most beloved outdoor spaces” and “one of the few peaceful and contemplative places on the Mall. Bjarke Ingels’s replacement is a wasteland of skylights reminiscent of a regional shopping mall,” he wrote. “The erupting ‘swoops’ of turf, glass and steel lack respect for the surrounding historic buildings. Peaceful and contemplative are replaced with arid, windswept and unfriendly.”

Smithsonian Institution building Washington DC

The petitions page states, “If you’ve entered the Smithsonian Institution from Independence Ave., you’ve probably enjoyed the Enid Haupt Garden. The Haupt Garden is a small jewel in the National Mall and a real oasis for both tourists and residents alike.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

An important component of the Smithsonian Institution’s proposed “South Mall Campus Master Plan” is to completely demolish the Enid Haupt Garden; the existing entrance pavilions to the National Museum of African Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the S. Dillon Ripley International Center; and the Renwick Gates and Walls at the south edge of the Haupt Garden.”

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

Website: Smithsonian Institution Enid Haupt Garden Petition – link

13 Mar 2013

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan Design by BIG

Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

Design: BIG


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 Building
photo from architect

Located at the south side of the National Mall in Washington DC, the 160-year-old cultural campus including 11 of the renowned institution’s museums and the Smithsonian Castle from 1855, is in need of being refreshed and re-connected to its adjacent buildings and the public realm. The Smithsonian envisions the winning team of the $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of the master plan, creating a gateway that invites visitors to learn, experience and navigate seamlessly through the Smithsonian buildings and gardens.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

“BIG designs are innovative, analytical, unexpected and intelligent. We believe they can develop a plan that will enable us over the next decade to transform a disparate group of much-loved buildings and outdoor spaces into a place that is more dynamic, social and active.”
Christopher Lethbridge, Smithsonian Institution.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

BIGs design seeks to reinstate the original Castle as the cornerstone building and the symbolic home of the Smithsonian Institution to serve as a welcoming entry point and an information hub for the visitors. The currently hidden Central Garden is to be reconnected to the National Mall by creating a striking grand entrance for the Castle and adjacent Museums.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

“It’s a great honor and a humbling challenge to be invited to reimagine one of the most significant American institutions on the front lawn of the nation’s capital. The abundance of historical heritage, the diversity of architectural languages and the cacophony of exhibits are tied together by a labyrinthine network of spaces above and below ground – inside and outside. Our task is to explore the collections with The Smithsonian and together attempt to untie the Gordian Knot of intertwined collections to unearth the full potential of this treasure chamber of artifacts.”
Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

The vision is to also include an entrance from the Central Garden providing access to a subterranean museum network which connects more than four museums in a maze of underground galleries, tunnels and annexes. Large public voids tunneling from collection to collection, space to space simplify and reorganize the existing condition below ground, improving the connectivity and access to the underground spaces. As the visitors descend down the lower levels from the corner entry, they are able to see and enjoy all the levels of the museum at once.

The first phase of the Smithsonian Campus Master Plan is expected to be delivered in the next 12 months.

Smithsonian Institution
photo 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 Master Plan images / information from BIG

BIG Architects

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 Washington DC Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC
photos : Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
Smithsonian Institute

Smithsonian Institution Courtyard design : Foster + Partners

Washington, D.C. Architecture
1730 Pennsylvania Avenue Building
photo © Anice Hoachlander

American Museum Buildings

Newseum Washington DC
Newseum Washington DC
picture : Eric Taylor ©

Museum Buildings

American Architects

American Architecture

Union Square National Mall Washington DC
Union Square Washington DC
image Courtesy of GGN, © Methanoia

Smithsonian Institution architects : Foster + Partners

Washington DC Embassy Building

Washington Buildings

Comments / photos for the Smithsonian Institution Master Plan Washington DC page welcome

Website: Smithsonian Institution