National Mall Design Competition, Union Square
Davis Brody Bond, alongside Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), has been chosen as winner of the National Mall Competition for the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Union Square site at on the National Mall. The GGN/DBB design responds to the goals and objectives that are part of an overall vision of the National Mall Plan, supported and enhanced by similar aspirations of the Architect of the Capitol. This proposed design creates a major civic square which addresses the underlying history of the site, a public space which frames and preserves the iconic view of the US Capitol. The use of water on the site is re-imagined as a feature that is at once formal and monumental, but also inviting and engaging at a human scale. Designed as a flat and shallow pool, discrete sections can be quickly drained to create paved plazas for major events, but on most days the pool offers a transitory and luminous surface that reflects the sky, trees and major monuments of the city.
The design of the somewhat smaller monumental public space at the center of Union Square in turn provides the opportunity to introduce a diverse array of new landscape environments that accommodate the activities of daily life, spaces which offer visitors, Congress and staff relief from the hot humid climate and surrounding traffic and provide a more intimate scale for the small groups that constitute the bulk of the visitors to the site.