James Corner Field Operations

Our approach is to construct an argument for the urgency of new investment, as well as create a new vision for what the Tidal Basin could be.

The argument circles around the historic and geographical facts of Washington, DC, its location in the flood plain, and the already deleterious effects of climate change. We have crafted three distinct scenarios to articulate this argument. Curate Entropy, or curate the inevitability of flooding. We expect increased flooding over time, from which new wetlands and woodlands would evolve. In this scenario, nature takes over the Tidal Basin, and melancholia prevails. Island Archipelago, which allows the waters of the Potomac to flood the site. A series of islands function as gardens, surrounding and protecting the monuments and creating a totally new and fantastical destination. In this scenario, nature transforms the Tidal Basin. Protect and Preserve, which fully preserves the interior basin landscape by constructing a protective earthwork levee along the Potomac. The earthwork ribbon’s sculptural form allows for new parkland and increased space for visitors. In this scenario, nature is embraced and celebrated.

Full Presentation

The protected Tidal Basin, restored cherry trees, and new promontory visitor center from the Protect and Preserve scenario

Founded in 1998 by James Corner, James Corner Field Operations is an urban design, landscape architecture, and public-realm practice based in New York City. The practice demonstrates a strong contemporary design approach across a variety of high-profile project types and widely varying scales. We celebrate the authenticity of real cities, urban places, and local culture. Major work includes the High Line, New York City; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; and Chicago’s Navy Pier. Visit Their Website

Other Proposals

Reed Hilderbrand
Presented by
Civic Partner