Saturday, October 10, 2015

This is the Bjarke Ingels Group vision for the master plan for the Smithsonian's "South Campus". This area encompasses the Castle, the Haupt Garden, the Arts and Industries Building, the entrances to the Sackler Gallery and the National Museum of African Art, and the Hirshorn Museum. You can learn more about this here and here.

The goal is to get rid of the Haupt Garden and dig a three or four story museum into the ground. A moat-like void would surround the new museum, admitting natural light. The roof of the new museum would be a new Haupt Garden, and be slightly higher than the surrounding grade. The garden would be accessible via walkways and stairs on all sides. The northeast and northwest corners of the museum roof would be lifted up into the air to form slight pyramids which would provide access points (elevators, escalators, and such) as well as light-wells for the new museum. Below-ground, the new museum would link the National Museum of African Art, the Sackler Gallery, and the Freer Museum of Art. It would expand the size of the Sackler Gallery and National Museum of African Art, and create a new tunnel-like exhibition space linking the new underground museum space with the Arts & Industries Building and the Hirshhorn Museum.

The $2 billion plan will need 10 to 20 years to implement.

While some of this looks really cool, some of it seems very, very derivative of Ingels' work for the Danish Maritime Museum.

Myself, I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see the walls around the Hirshorn come down, and the Haupt Garden turned into a public space rather than a kller-piece-of-boredom garden like it is now.

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