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Smithsonian Hires BIG to Rethink Historic D.C. Campus

The Smithsonian Institution has commissioned the innovative practice of Bjarke Ingles to reimagine the heart of its antiquated Washington D.C. campus. The Danish architect has agreed to an eight- to 12- month, $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of a master plan that seeks to dissolve the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plagues the area.   

More on this news after the break...

The site - bordered by Jefferson Drive and the National Mall to the north, Seventh Street SW to the east, Independence Avenue SW to the south and 12th Street to the west - is home to some of the Smithsonian’s oldest buildings, such as the Castle, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, Quadrangle Building, National Museum of African Art, Sackler Gallery, Dillon Ripley Center and the Freer Gallery.

Although the Smithsonian is only entertaining the possibilities for now, BIG is expected to envision a gateway intended to invite visitors to “learn, to rest and to escape and then lead them north to the rest of the Mall.” In addition, the practice will be responsible for site and building investigations, programming, campus planning, architectural and engineering design concepts and cost analysis. 

Among Ingels' latest designs in the U.S. are the W57 apartment building on West 57th Street in Manhattan, the Breach and Howe mixed-use proposal for Vancouver, the luxurious Grove at Grand Bay in Miami, and the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah.

via the Washington Business Journal

Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "Smithsonian Hires BIG to Rethink Historic D.C. Campus" 26 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/336900/smithsonian-hires-big-to-rethink-historic-d-c-campus/>