The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) invited five talented design firms to develop proposals to beautify the security components and improve the visitor experience at President’s Park South. This popular destination is located between the White House Grounds and Constitution Avenue, NW.
Twenty-three firms responded to NCPC’s call for qualifications, the initial stage of a national design competition begun in March. Based on the review and recommendations of NCPC’s selection committee, and with support from the Interagency Security Task Force, NCPC invited five firms to advance to the design phase of the competition.
The selected firms are:
Hood Design Studio in San Francisco, CA;
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in New York, NY
Reed Hilderbrand Associates in Watertown, MA;
Rogers Marvel Architects in New York, NY; and
SASAKI in Watertown, MA.
Beginning Tuesday, June 21 and running through Monday, June 27, the public is invited to view the project teams’ designs and share their opinions either online or at White House Visitor Center. All public opinions submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 27 will be shared with NCPC’s Interagency Security Task Force, which will announce the competition winner on July 7, 2011.
On June 28, NCPC will host a public showcase of the five submitted concept designs.
President’s Park South is one of the most visited locations in the nation’s capital, and represents a unique design challenge that requires sensitive integration of security requirements into a landscape of extraordinary cultural and historic significance. The area includes Sherman Park, the First Division Monument, the Ellipse and its side panels, as well as the associated roadways in the area, including E Street, NW, which has been closed to automobile traffic for the past decade.
The National Park Service-led interagency Comprehensive Design Plan for the White House and President’s Park (2000) set the vision for this important historic public space. The results of the NCPC-sponsored design competition will inform the development of alternatives for President’s Park South that will be undertaken by the National Park Service and the United States Secret Service. These alternatives will be examined through a federal and local review and approval process, including a NEPA Environmental Assessment, over the course of the next year.