The National Mall has been loved to death. It is our country’s most visited national park, with more than 25 million annual visitors and 3,000 annual permitted events. This 700-acre park was not built to withstand this level of use and has not received adequate resources to be restored and maintained to a level befitting its role as an irreplaceable piece of our American fabric. — nationalmall.org
The Trust for the National Mall today launches the official National Mall Design Competition. The 36-week contest will solicit recommendations from across the country about how to best redesign three prominent National Mall sites: Union Square, the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens.
"The National Mall Design Competition is the first step in the implementation of the National Mall Plan," said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. "The National Mall Plan is only one of four in the 220-year history of the park and the Trust is excited to steward this next chapter."
"As one of the earliest public spaces in our nation, the National Mall's facilities and infrastructure require extensive renewal and repair to accommodate the needs of today's visitors," said Bob Vogel, the Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. "The National Mall Design Competition will be a new chapter, providing sustainable design that respects historic landscape and structures."
The Competition challenges architects and landscape architects to devise creative, sustainable solutions to the National Mall's restoration needs. The Competition Manager is renowned architect Donald J. Stastny, FAIA FAICP FCIP, who has authored and managed over 50 national and international design selection processes, including the Oklahoma City and Flight 93 National Memorials and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A., and developed the GSA Design Excellence Guidelines that shape all federal building design competitions.
A Steering Committee representing diverse interests has overseen the development of the Competition. The panel includes representatives from the National Park Service, the Architect of the Capitol, the US Park Police, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the National Capital Planning Commission, the Commission on Fine Arts and the D.C. Office of Planning. Starting with the September 8th launch, oversight will be turned over to Mr. Stastny and a Jury of experts in landscape architecture, historic preservation, the arts, and sustainable urban park design.
The public will have the opportunity to see the finalists' designs before the winners are announced in May 2012. For all Competition information, please visit www.nationalmalldesign.org.