As part of “America’s front yard,” the National Mall Tidal Basin is one of our nation’s most iconic, significant, and beloved public cultural landscapes and commemorative spaces. But this treasured landscape is at a pivotal moment, as subsidence, daily flooding, increasing visitation, and crumbling infrastructure threaten its long-term sustainability.
To ensure the National Mall Tidal Basin can meet the demands of a changing modern environment, we need a bold, creative, and integrated approach that respects, enhances, and revitalizes the Tidal Basin. That's why we've teamed up with the Trust for the National Mall to present the Ideas Lab. The Trust for the National Mall is the leading philanthropic partner of the National Park Service, dedicated to restoring, enriching and preserving the National Mall.
Unlike a Design Competition, which typically selects a winner with a conclusive master plan, the Ideas Lab is a platform for the exchange of solutions and approaches between designers, stakeholders, and the public. Results are provocative and innovative, presenting cultural landscape opportunities in a new light, while tackling fundamental challenges in a comprehensive and respectful way.
Visit the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab Exhibition online to explore the histories and challenges of the Tidal Basin, discover key themes emerging from the Ideas Lab, and share feedback on ideas for the evolution of this important part of America’s landscape.
Lead Designers were selected to participate based on past design performance, philosophy and design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity, overall resume, and ability to confront multi-faceted challenges at the Tidal Basin.
Challenges and Opportunities
Design Teams will develop an integrated vision for a resilient future for the Tidal Basin, addressing the full range of challenges and opportunities confronting this complex landscape, including:
Circulation—Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Automobiles
Security—Safety and Emergency Response
Visitor Experience—Tourism, Recreation, Festivals, Urban Park, and Accessibility
Civic Stage—Expression of American Values; First Amendment Demonstrations
Cultural Landscape—Preservation and Interpretation
Connectivity—Transportation and Visual Connection Beyond the Tidal Basin Boundary
Conservation—Environmental Impact, Sustainability, Ecology, and Hydrology
Resilience—Floodplain, Climate Change, and Sea Level Rise
Infrastructure—Rebuilding and Reimagining
The National Mall Tidal Basin is threatened by rising sea levels and as much as $500 million in repairs and upgrades. Join our campaign to ensure this 107-acre landscape is preserved for future generations.Sign the Pledge
Visit the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab Exhibition to see bold visions for this iconic place's future.Explore