National Mall Tidal Basin, Washington, DC

photo by: Sam Kittner

Save the Tidal Basin

  • An American Icon

    A part of the National Mall, the Tidal Basin comprises some of our nation's most renowned monuments and famed cherry trees.

  • History at Risk

    Rising sea levels and as much as $500 million in deferred maintenance threaten this 107-acre landscape.

  • Save the Tidal Basin

    Join us in a three-year campaign to ensure the Tidal Basin is preserved for future generations.

    Sign the Pledge

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.

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 will be provocative and innovative, presenting cultural landscape opportunities in a new light, while tackling fundamental challenges in a comprehensive and respectful way.

Results of the Ideas Lab will be presented in a museum-quality online exhibition launching on October 20, 2020. This exhibition will invite the public to explore the histories and challenges of the Tidal Basin, and share feedback on ideas for the evolution of this important part of America’s landscape.

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

Participating Firms

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.

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