Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden preliminary concept design.

Hirshhorn Museum Gets Green Light for Redesign of Sculpture Garden

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, is moving forward with the major redesign of its sculpture garden. Architect and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s concept has received unanimous approval from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The institution’s next steps for realizing the project will be to hold a public meeting in September to seek additional feedback.

To revitalize the green space, Sugimoto’s redesign includes the creation of a more visible north entrance that will serve as a second “front door” to the museum from the National Mall, an interconnected series of outdoor galleries for rotating exhibitions, an open lawn for the installation of contemporary art and public programming, a reflecting pool inspired by architect Gordon Bunshaft’s original design, and an amphitheater. The institution also plans on reopening an underground passage to reestablish a pedestrian throughway between the sculpture garden and the museum plaza below Jefferson Drive that has been closed since the 1980s.

“The plans we have developed with artist and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto are the result of a thoughtful process over the last two years, involving input from dozens of important stakeholders,” said Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu. “Sugimoto has studied the Sculpture Garden’s history and has carefully considered every aspect of how visitors will experience the revitalized garden. We look forward to moving to the next phases of planning, as we continue to receive public feedback.”