• Constitution-Gardens_01
  • Constitution-Gardens_02
  • Constitution-Gardens_03
  • Constitution-Gardens_06
  • Constitution-Gardens_07
  • Constitution-Gardens_08
  • Constitution-Gardens_09
  • Constitution-Gardens_10
  • Constitution-Gardens_11

Constitution Gardens National Design Competition Winner

Washington, DC

Tucked away on the National Mall, between the Vietnam Memorial, the World War II Memorial and parallel to the Reflecting Pool, lies Constitution Gardens, a curvaceous, forested passive park planned in the 1970s. The complete design was never built, which left the Gardens bereft of activity and turned this quiet enclave on the busy National Mall into a forgotten space. Through an international competition, the Trust for the National Mall set in motion the transformation of this 60-acre site into a memorable place. This winning proposal, sited at the east end of the lake, operates as an anchor point and a nexus of activity for Constitution Gardens. A roofed structure containing a restaurant, a grand stair, and an outdoor lookout, the building transitions from the higher terrain of the Mall down into the bowl of the Gardens with a dramatic cantilever over the lake’s path. From scale to massing and materials, the pavilion is designed to integrate into the landscape, to entice and protect without obscuring. The park will retain its original purpose as a pastoral setting, but offer new uses and events, in all seasons, day and night. A new grass amphitheater, terraces and meadows will provide flexible use spaces of different sizes. In the lake, an underwater ring wall will transform part of the water into a model boat basin in summer and ice skating in winter.

The National Mall Design Competition website showcases RMA and PWP’s winning design.
You can also download the team’s official Competition submission here.

with PWP Landscape Architecture