The Landscape Architect’s Guide to

Washington, D.C.

The National Mall & Memorial Parks

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden and Grounds

Your Guide
Skip Graffam, ASLA

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden and Grounds provide a quiet and beautiful landscape retreat to view the museum’s magnificent collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. The site encompasses a provocative compilation of several designers—architect Gordon Bunschaft designed the austere and minimalist building and site, which was later refined by landscape architects Lester Collins and James Urban, whose plantings greatly enhanced the staging of the individual art pieces and visitor comfort. The sculpture garden is sunken below the Mall to create a lush and intimate setting. It has always been one of my favorite spots to escape the noise and activity of the city. 

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Madeleine Tierney September 25, 2012 6:27 PM
I also would like to see the Ripley Garden. It holds many unusual plants in wonderful combinations and encourages experimentation with what will grow in our own gardens. It is a beautiful garden created for plants' sake.
Tom Bower September 25, 2012 9:13 AM
What about the Mary Ripley Garden next to the Hirshhorn? It is consistently the most beautiful garden on the Mall and not a frame for sculpture or architecture, but a celebration of plants. Thank you.
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