Working closely with the Smithsonian, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and GHT conceived a master plan for the South Mall Campus as an example of radical reinterpretation. To resolve the contradictions between old and new, and to find freedom within the boundaries of strict regulation and historical preservation, the BIG team chose to carefully reinterpret the elements that are already present in the campus. The proposed master plan will be implemented over a 10-20 year period beginning in 2016.
The proposal has three primary goals: to improve and expand visitor services and education; to create clear entrances and connections between the museums and gardens; and to replace aging building mechanical systems that have reached the end of their lifespan.
In support of these goals, GHT conducted an engineering assessment of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems in five existing campus buildings, prepared MEP engineering design alternatives to address the overall realignment of those buildings, and provided MEP design narratives to inform cost estimating activities.