2019 Oct 25

Tidal Basin Ideas Lab Opens

Courtesy Sam Kittner

Reed Hilderbrand is one of five landscape architecture firms participating in the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab, organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trust for the National Mall. Named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation list of the nation’s most endangered historic places, Tidal Basin is estimated to require $500,000,000 of investment in the face of increasing pressure from visitors as well as rising water levels on the Potomac River.

Unlike a traditional design competition, the Ideas Lab, presented by American Express, will be an incubator for innovative, big-picture ideas and solutions to address the challenges facing the Tidal Basin in the age of rapid climate change. It is the first step in a multi-phase, three-year campaign that will raise awareness and engage the public in a conversation about the future of stewardship of the Tidal Basin.

Courtesy Sam Kittner

Adaptation and action in response to climate change are central to a number of commissions currently in the office, but Tidal Basin allows Reed Hildebrand to address the sea-level rise’s impact on a significant cultural landscape. Founding principal and project lead Gary Hilderbrand explains, “With the Ideas Lab, our generation can demonstrate how to negotiate the forces of change affecting this place, which are larger than we are but can be addressed through the work of landscape architecture. This raises the question of whether as a culture we can be unified in voice and action in protecting our most vital resources and spaces.”

The full list of participating landscape practices includes DLANDstudio, GGN, Hood Design Studio, James Corner Field Operations, and Reed Hilderbrand.

Further reading: “Major landscape architecture firms selected to help preserve the Tidal Basin,” Curbed DC, October 22, 2019