written by:
November 13, 2014
The Bjarke Ingels Group proposes a new vision for the esteemed D.C. institution.
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

This illuminated evening view shows how the proposed raised entryways for the Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art would slightly bend and contort the Haupt Garden, creating a sort of tabbed topography. 

Courtesy of 
Bjarke Ingels Group
1 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

Designed with visitors' needs in mind, the overall renovation plan would actually excavate underneath the Smithsonian Castle—made from red sandstone bricks and finished in 1855—by suspending the structure via a process called base isolation. This would allow for the creation of the underground space depicted above. 

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
2 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

A view of the new entrance to the National Museum of African Art, showing how the raised corner entrance would alter the landscape. Part of the idea is to let the expanded entrances and skylight systems serves as preludes and sneak peeks at the ongoing exhibitions. 

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
3 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

A view from the National Mall west of the Smithsonian. The plan, which may take up to two decades to finish, would still need approval from the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts.

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
4 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

The BIG proposal would lower the outer ring wall of the curved Hirshhorn Museum, designed by Gordon Bunschaft, to improve accessibility. 

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
5 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

A view of the enhanced south campus, presenting a vision of a more integrated square. The renovation's estimated price tag, $2 billion, would be paid by a combination of federal funds and private donations. 

 

 

 

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
6 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

One of the key goals of the open corner entrances and structural renovations is to bring more natural light to bear on the nation's art treasures via skylights, as pictured here in the National Museum of African Art. The project will also expand total gallery space by roughly 30 percent. 

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
7 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

The plan also calls for a more visible entrance to the interactive Ripley education center, to help draw more crowds to the underground exhibit.  

Courtesy of 
BIG/Smithsonian
8 / 8
Bjarke Ingels Group renovation plan for Smithsonian south campus

This illuminated evening view shows how the proposed raised entryways for the Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art would slightly bend and contort the Haupt Garden, creating a sort of tabbed topography. 

Unity has been a hard quality to find in the nation's capital. But if Bjarke Ingels's intuition is right, he may have found a way to bring some harmony to Washington, D.C., at least of the aesthetic kind, with an upgrade of the Smithsonian's south campus. Unveiled Thursday, the renovation plan by his firm BIG would simultaneously open up and unite a collection of historic venues—including the Smithsonian Castle, National Museum of African Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden—with improved and expanded entrances, more gallery space, and reinterpretations of classic architectural styles. These images from the presentation showcase the vision for a smarter campus. 

 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016