BIG selected for the Smithsonian Institution Master Plan

BIG leading a Core Design Team including Surface Design(landscape), Traceries and Robert Silman Associates, further supported by Atelier Ten, GHT Limited , Wiles Mensch, Weidlinger Associates, VJ Associates, Protection Engineering Group and FDS Design Studio is today officially announced as the winning team to rethink the historic Smithsonian campus, world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

Located at the south side of the National Mall in Washington DC, the 160-year-old cultural campus including 11 of the renowned institution’s museums and the Smithsonian Castle from 1855, is in need of being refreshed and re-connected to its adjacent buildings and the public realm. The Smithsonian envisions the winning team of the $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of the master plan, creating a gateway that invites visitors to learn, experience and navigate seamlessly through the Smithsonian buildings and gardens.

“BIG designs are innovative, analytical, unexpected and intelligent. We believe they can develop a plan that will enable us over the next decade to transform a disparate group of much-loved buildings and outdoor spaces into a place that is more dynamic, social and active.” Christopher Lethbridge, Smithsonian Institution.

The first phase of the Smithsonian Campus Master Plan is expected to be delivered in the next 12 months.

Size: 700,000 Square Feet
Client: Smithsonian Institution

Collaborators: Surface Design (landscape), Traceries (historic preservation), Robert Silman Associates (structural), Atelier Ten (sustainability),
GHT Limited (MEP), Wiles Mensch (civil), Weidlinger Associates (security/anti-terrorism) VJ Associates (cost), Protection Engineering Group
(fire/life safety), FDS Design Studio (food services)

Location: Washington D.C., USA

Status: Concept

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen

Project Leader: Daniel Kidd

Project Manager: Ziad Shebab

Team: Suemin Jeon

About Damian Holmes 5735 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at