And by that, we mean Bjarke Ingels and his firm have been commissioned to draft the first phase of the master plan for Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution campus. By awarding the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) the 12-month, $2.4-million contract to re-envision the hallowed space containing the Castle, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Sackler Gallery, the Freer Gallery, and several other cultural mainstays, the Smithsonian has made a bold statement that they want to spice things up in the “nation’s attic,” as the institute is allegedly called sometimes, according to Wikipedia.
The project under BIG’s jurisdiction will include site and building investigations, programming, campus planning, architectural and engineering design concepts, and cost analysis, with the hope that Ingels’s eccentric formalist touch will ameliorate “some notable impediments” and activate the buildings and the landscape in “a fully functional and efficient way,” said the Smithsonian, according to the Washington Business Journal. For those of you who are skeptical, or downright worried that this landmark American institution will look like the polychromatic explosion at Copenhagen’s Superkilen Park, rest assured that there is no guarantee that any of Ingels’s master plan designs will be implemented. Nonetheless, it looks like the Smithsonian is looking for some radical urbanism to breathe new life into its campus.
Photo: The Smithsonian Institute Castle / The Smithsonian Institute
- Kelly Chan