Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden to Get Makeover for First Time Since 1980s

The Hirshhorn Museum's sculpture garden will be renovated for the first time since the 1980s, the museum announced Monday. 

Part of the renovations to the sculpture garden are set to include creating more space for larger contemporary artwork and performances, as well as an intimate space for "masterpieces," the museum said in a statement. 

Because the museum sits adjacent to the National Mall, the museum said it plans to create a more appealing entrance to attract more visitors. 

Additionally, the renovation will reopen the underground passage that connects the garden to the museum plaza, which has been closed for 30 years and was part of museum architect Gordon Bunshaft’s original design.

Currently, the Hirshhorn said “the sunken garden is barely visible to both Mall and museum visitors.”

“This project creates a ‘front door’ for the Hirshhorn on the National Mall,” Hirshhorn board chair Dan Sallick said in the statement. “I can think of no better way to expand our mission than by creating a 21st-century outdoor space for sculpture and performance that will become a beacon for many more visitors.”

Architect and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto who redesigned the museum’s lobby last year, will lead the renovation project. 

“As both an artist and an architect, Hiroshi Sugimoto brings a unique perspective to his designs and a deep understanding and respect for Gordon Bunshaft’s original vision for the garden,” museum director Melissa Chiu said in the statement. 

The museum’s board of trustees unanimously approved the renovation. The Hirshhorn is set to hold a public consultation meeting soon. 

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