in march 2019, the hirshhorn museum in washington, D.C. announced that it was to undertake a redesign of its sculpture garden. the hirshhorn said that 45 years after its opening, the garden required critical infrastructure repairs, enhanced universal accessibility, and new galleries. since 1981, when the last re-design was undertaken, incremental changes have been made to plantings, paving, and the design program, including the closure of the east fountain. to realize the sculpture garden’s full potential, the institution tasked japanese artist and architect hiroshi sugimoto with revitalizing the entire space.

view of the site from 7th street above the national mall
image © hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden

 

 

hiroshi sugimoto’s design seeks to re-establish the cohesiveness of the sculpture garden, the plaza, and the museum as a single, interconnected campus. this involves the creation of a new ‘front door’ on the national mall that welcomes visitors by widening sightlines into the sculpture garden and improving accessibility, shade, and seating. the project will also increase the hirshhorn’s display of its modern sculpture collection by almost 50%, while improving existing infrastructure and protecting the site’s natural vegetation. another important part of the scheme will see repairs made to the envelope of the building, which was designed by gordon bunshaft.

update on hiroshi sugimoto's design for the hirshhorn museum sculpture garden
a detail of the east gallery display of henry moore’s ‘king and queen’ and barbara hepworth’s ‘figure for landscape’
image © hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden

 

 

the museum, which is part of the smithsonian institution, has said that it will honor the garden’s layered design history — including both bunshaft’s original 1974 vision and the garden’s 1981 re-design under the direction of lester collins. the final public consultation meeting for the revitalization will take place via zoom on march 10, 2021. interested parties are invited to register in advance to learn about and respond to supplemental materials prepared per the national capital planning commission’s preliminary approval, revised reflecting pool alternative, and proposed minimization and mitigation measures. more information on the project can be found here.

update on hiroshi sugimoto's design for the hirshhorn museum sculpture garden
southward aerial view of the site from the national mall in spring
image © hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden

update on hiroshi sugimoto's design for the hirshhorn museum sculpture garden
hiroshi sugimoto in the hirshhorn museum’s lobby, which he redesigned in 2018
image by farrah skeiky

 

 

project info:

 

name: the hirshhorn’s sculpture garden
location: washington, DC
institution: hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden
design: hiroshi sugimoto
status:
final public consultation meeting scheduled for march 10, 2021

philip stevens I designboom

mar 04, 2021

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