The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is a welcome oasis in the vast scale and bustling environment of the adjacent National Mall. It is a lush retreat created by plantings, pathways, and furnishings designed to highlight some of the finest examples of 20th century sculpture in the nation’s capital. OLIN’s concept for the garden was to create a series of outdoor rooms to provide an appropriate setting and route for viewing the collection. The garden was to be a comfortable enclave for people to rest, relax, dine and watch each other in the presence of great art. American tree species define the rooms of various size, shape and proportion to accommodate the sculpture and display them to best advantage. One can focus upon each piece individually, while also viewing several at a time to compare them. Curvilinear paths guide visitors through the rooms and choreograph a comfortable pace for observation. An elegant fountain replaced the old, non-functioning one, and is transformed into an ice skating rink in the winter.
National Gallery of Art