Open Ideas Competition Washington Monument \ Inbo

• October 20, 2011

Architects of Inbo in the final of the open ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington D.C., USA.

Jacques Prins, Kevin Battarbee and Egidijus Kasakaitis, architects of the Dutch multidisciplinary office Inbo, have proceeded to the third and final round with their proposal “Monument of Unity”. The task given to competitors by the competition committee chaired by the AIA focused on “how to redesign the area around the Monument, to make it ready for the 21st century”.

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Washington Monument, render courtesy Inbo

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The sequence of spaces leads to the Monument towering above the agora, render courtesy Inbo

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View outward to the Lincoln memorial, render courtesy Inbo

The proposal of Jacques, Kevin and Egidijus consists of a large sky-lit space encircling the base of the Monument, in which a museum space and amenities are accommodated. By revealing and displaying the foundations of the Monument, currently hidden inside the mound, layers of history are revealed and the monument presents itself from a new perspective.

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Evolution of the obelisk - retaining its iconic presence, drawing courtesy Inbo

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The new interventions are embedded into the existing landscaping, drawing courtesy Inbo

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Interplay of direct and indirect light in the exhibition and museum spaces, drawing courtesy Inbo

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The Monument remains a singular entity at the crossing of the visual axes, drawing courtesy Inbo

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The new agora forms part of a spatial sequence leading to and from the Monument, drawing courtesy Inbo

The main theme and inspiration of the design is the person and legacy of George Washington, symbolized by a Farewell Address quote on the circular perimeter wall:

independence, peace at home and abroad, safety, prosperity, and liberty are all dependent upon the unity between the states.

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The ring-shaped museum space encircles the agora, render courtesy Inbo

The area around the Washington Monument, the pivotal point of the Washington Mall, has been subject to many plans in the past century, none of which came past the design stage. Due to the increasing number of visitors and the need for improved visitor safety, revision of the Monument grounds once again found its place on the public agenda. Out of more than 500 initial entries ‘Monument of Unity’ was chosen as one of the six finalists. Public voting will decide which of the remaining six will be ultimately declared the winner.

+ Architect: Inbo

+ All images and drawings courtesy Inbo

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Category: Architecture, Civic

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