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May 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Seattle-based landscape architecture firm chosen to redesign Washington, D.C.’s Union Square

The top photo shows Union Square as it is now, view from U.S. Capitol Speaker’s Balcony. The second photo shows the area as it would appear under the new design, view from the Grant Memorial. (Photos courtesy of GGN, © Methanoia)

A Seattle-based landscape architecture firm has been selected to redesign Washington, D.C.’s Union Square, adjacent to the U.S. Capitol.

The firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) along with New York-based architects Davis Brody Bond (DBB) was chosen from six finalists to revamp a 17-acre area that has been a neglected portion of the National Mall, the most-visited national park in the U.S.

Under the firms’ plan, Union Square’s central space would include a 2.5-acre reflecting pool just 2 inches deep on a paved surface.  The shallow pool ­could be quickly drained to create a range of differently sized open spaces to accommodate a variety of events.

The central area would be flanked by what the proposal calls “outdoor rooms” with trees, native plants, seating surfaces, and subtle changes in grading and low retention walls to form terraces and views.  The redesigned park would operate using just 10 percent of the water now used in a fountain at the site.

The National Mall, home to 12 monuments, stretches from Union Square, at the foot of the U.S. Capitol, to the Lincoln Memorial, and from the Jefferson Memorial to Constitution Avenue. It draws more than 25 million visitors a year.

 

Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: D.C., landscape architects, Seattle-based

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